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The War Inevitable 



Novels at 6s. 



Thb Singular Republic 

By W. H. KoBBBL. 

Whbsb thb Applb Rbddbms 

By Arthur Jambs. 



Thb Anchoragb 



Thb Forbiddem Way 



By W. H. Kobbbl. 



By F. J. Cox. 



Thb Imsurobmt 



By Wilkinson Sherrbn. 



London: FRANCIS GRIFFITHS. 



The 
War Inevitable 



BY 

ALAN H. BURGOYNE 



London : 

FRANCIS GRIFFITHS, 

34 Maiden Lane, Strand, W.C. 

1908. 



DEDICATED TO 
MY WIFE. 



I 



4 



273829 



Chap. Page, 

xxiv. Under Cover of the Night - - - 211 

XXV. A New Tsushima 215 

xxvi Lord Kitchener to the Fore . - - 239 

xxvii How the Yellow Men Landed in England 252 

xxviiL The Fight Around the Hill ... 261 

xxix. Sweeping the Channel ... 277 

XXX. The Episode of the Kiel Canal - - 291 

Conclusion 303 



1 



THE WAR INEVITABLE 

CHAPTER I. * 

A Royal Betrothal. 

"I hate him! I hate him!!" cried the Princes& 
emphatically, — and it needed no close observation to 
gauge the depth of feeling underlying her words. Her 
soft blue eyes were suffused with tears and she grated 
her pretty white teeth angrily vrith the intensity of her 
emotion. 

" My dear Alexandra," said her mother gently, " these 
scenes are childish, and you know that it is useless to 
rail against yoat destiny. His Majesty, for reasons best 
known to himself, has decided that your marriage to 
Prince Oscar is both desirable and necessary ; and that 
being so, you would employ your time far better in 
preparations for your wedding than in unladyhke 
exhibitions of temper." 

Casting a reproachful glance upon her erring daughter 
the elder lady sailed majestically out of the room, con- 
vinced th^ the matter had been tactfully, if not 
gracefully, disposed of. 

The ftin(»s3 looked up with tear-dimmed eyes ; a sob 
shook her whole frame and she muttered despairingly: 

" Everybody is against me, even my own mother." 

A girl of ho: own age entered the room, and seeing ihs 
dejected attitude of her compEinicMi, asked 

" HuUo, Xandra! whafs the trouble, dearP surely not ' 
tiiat hateful marriage again P I thought that you had 
made i^ your mind to face it and try to overcome the 
discomforts and dislikes." 



8 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

"Dislikes?" burst out the astonished Princess with 
intense indignation, " dislikes, indeed ! What can you 
know of such things? What does it matter to you? 
Wha^jbio you care if my life is spoilt? What do— Oh! 
I could kill him, I hate him so. Here am I, eighteen last 
week, never had any fun, no flirtations, just out, and 
wanting to enjoy myself and do the round of the Duke's 
house-parties when Uncle, just because he's a Kix^, 
pitches on me — ^me above all people — ^just because Tm 
a Princess, and tells me I must marry that little idiot 
Oscar. Why, he's not even a man! and look at his 
character, — ^you know all about.it without my saying 
anything. He's the scandal of Bonn — drunk every week, 
if not every night ; lost half an ear in a fight ; got a red 
scar from his nose to his right ear ; doesn't look a gentle- 
man, much less a Prince, and — ^and — I hate him." 

" But, my dear Xandra, you're rather — ^" 

" Oh, don't talk to me " cried the indignant youi^ lady, 
breaking into her friend's attempt at speech witii 
increased vehemence. " It's all because I'm a Princess ! 
— If I'd been an ordinary person, or even only like you, 
a daughter of a Countess, I could have had my fling and 
then settled down with the man I love. But now? 
Made to marry a man I loathe the sight of — ^a dissolute 
impossible foreigner, who can't talk decent Engli^I 
And can't I just see those hateful papers with their 
hideous caricatures of me and *my handsome bridegroom' 
describing the afifecting scenes and all the pretty 
incidents of the show ? I know it all by heart,— columns 
about what I said as a baby, how sweet my voice is, my 
graceful carriage, how I rebuked the General and lastly 
5ie cause of the love-match that has ended so happily. 
Then the Dailies will have their sickening leaders begin- 
ning " Our hearts go out this day " or else " The world 



A ROYAL BETROTHAL 9 

will jcrin with us in wishing long life and happiness ** etc. 
you know the rest of it, don't you ? Drivel ! I suppose 
they think we don't read that sort of thing," then, going 
off at a tangent, she said — " at all events, I hop^ihey 
give a good description of my dress. I wonder whether 
Madame will manage to make it fit, — ^but you can never 
trust her, you know. And then think of those odious 
crowds staring at me and their loud remarks about my 
looks, and the bobbing guards at the station. To think» 
too, that my mauve hat is a failure ! Its too awful for 
words and I shall never forgive Jules for that Oh! its 
hateful — all of it — ^all of them," she concluded, flinging 
her arms apart 

An outburst of tears ended this tirade against fate and 
milliners and the Lady Millicent essayed to comfort her 
unhappy young companion in a way known only to girls. 

She felt herself diat the case was hard and sighed 
deeply as she thought of Lord Ronald, the stalwart 
guardsman, to whom she was so soon to be united. He 
was above all things a man. 

Poor Princess Alexandra ! Fate had ordained that 
she should be the means of soothing the ever increasing 
friction between England and Germany ; and the Royal 
marriage had been hastily arranged and was to take 
place in three days' time. 

It is almost needless to say that Prince Oscar was not 
as black as his future bride had painted him. Tall, as 
were most of the Hohenzollems, he had a commanding 
presence, a fine open countenance, and an unusually 
cheerful disposition. His bride to be, a girl of eighteen, 
very English, but not strikingly beautiful, had from the 
first taken an intense dislike to him. She was of an 
affectionate disposition, clever, musical and indeed^ 
suited quite satisfactorily the set description of " accom- 



10 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

plished " ; but, like all her country-women* she believed 
in having something to say in matrimonial matters in 
which she was so directly concerned, and it was but 
natural that she should feel incensed at that which 
appeared a rather high-handed action on the part of her 
Unde. 

Her mother, the stately Duchess, Princess in her own 
right, had protested against the injustice of the proposal, 
but, being a shrewd woman of the world and seeking an 
advantageous match for her daughter, she was soon con- 
vinced that the marriage was in reaUty desirable from all 
points of view. 



CHAPTER II. 
A Fateful Day. 

The wedding day opened in perfect harmony with the 
occasion, and wide-flung peals of joyous bells rang clearly 
out across the crisp, frosty air of the late winter. Snow- 
white flocculent clouds hung listlessly beneath the deep 
blue vault of the sky, and from the woods of Eton came 
the rough caws of the awakened rookeries. An army of 
men was rushing hither and thither in the narrow streets 
of ancient Windsor, some armed with evil-smelling paste 
and brush, others carrying extensible ladders, poles, 
glowing braziers or gaudy bunting — ^all intent on the 
work of beautifying, or rather putting to the already 
bedecked town those essential finishing touches. The 
great ardi spanning the station entrance and exit had 
been tastefujily decorated, and an enormous banner 
blazoned with a text of benediction suitable to the day. 
At ten o'clock, column upon colimm of glittering soldiery 
came marching with steady tramp up the steep hill, and 
soon a narrow lane lay clear between two seemingly end- 
less lines of vari-coloured tmiform and, behind them, a 
struggling mass of expectant humanity. Princess 
Alexandra was at the Castle already, and had calmed 
down to a dignified submission though, as she glanced 
over the immense crowd come to view her happiness the 
ever-ready tears sprang of times, unbidden, to her soft- 
lashed eyes. 

"Xandra, dear, come and dress now, will you?" and 
Lady Millicent linked her arm lovingly in that of the 
young Princess and smiled cheerfully up into her face, — 



12 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

though she, too, felt nearer crying at the thought of losix^ 
her bosom friend 

" Very well ; Millie— I suppose I must'* 

A gun spoke loud on the farther side of the Castle and 
the windows rattled ominously in their frames. Simul- 
taneously the bells burst out afresh, ringing maddening 
strains of good augury and happiness, but seeming to the 
chief actor in the drama a sorry mockery of her own 
true feelings. 

Another gun cracked harshly, and the Princess turned 
away with her friend, 

"That means the Imperial Chancellor and — and — 
Oscar are coming. I am so sorry the Kaiser cannot 
come ; he has been very good and generous. But — 
jnakes me so nervous, and he's so fierce looking—oh ! what 
am I saying ! Millie dear, please forget that I said that, 
for of course I did not mean it Promise, dear ?" 

" Certainly, Xandra, but — ^" 

" No, we won't discuss it at all, Millie. Uncle has 
thought it well to sacrifice me, — ^yes, it is a sacrifice — to 
remove the ill-feeling between Germany and England 
and, as Princess Alexandra " and here she drew herself 
up proudly, " I hope I may say nothii^ to increase it. 
Come on, Millie, I'm longing to get into my dress." 

As they walked down the soft carpeted passs^e 
towards her room, a young aide-de-camp met them, 

" Pardon me, your Highness^ but there are a number 
of photogpraphers downstairs, waiting to take you in your 
wedding dress, and your mother asked me to let you 
know, telling me you would be in the Round Tower." 

" Thanks, Lord Billerton, its very good of you. But, 
I say, who are they ?" 

"Oh, let me think. They are Messrs. Carmon and 
Fright, Vanbilk, Dawnay, Falayette and one or two more 



A FATEFUL DAY 13 

I can't remember,— but I'll find out, if you wish it ?" 

" Please don't trouble, — only warn old Fright, if he 
has come himself, that I'm very fussy to-day and can't 
stand him for long. By the bye, when shall we hear of 
your marriage. Lord Billerton ? 

" In six weeks time, your Highness. But may I take 
this opportunity of congratulating your Highness and of 
wishing you every happiness." 

"Thank you very much, my Lord, — ^you are most 
kind. I am sure we shall be very, very happy" 

And the lie went out to the world, an additional proof 
of the ahready generally accepted version, " very, very 
happy." Not that Royal marris^es are always ill-assorted, 
for from it ; but in this one case the exigencies of inter- 
national politics had demanded some such function, and 
the choice of the principal actors therein had chanced to 
be decidedly unfortunate — at least, so it seemed. 

As the two girls walked towards their apartments, the 
sk)W boom of the Royal salute shook the historic pile 
from base to battlements. The Imperial train had been 
signalled and an expectant murmur rose from the 
struggling thousands as a warning whistle struck the ear. 
A steady beat of powerful cylinders was next heard, and 
the heavy engine snorted menacingly up the platform 
until the long> luxuriously app)ointed saloon was opposite 
the wide stretch of red baize. A short, thick set figure, 
dad in British Admiral's uniform, stepped towards the 
door; the young bridegroom was of the sea, and the 
Prince of Wales had elected to wear the insignia of that 
service to which he also had been bred and bom. As 
tbe door was flung open, he leapt into the compartment 
and embraced his cousin. Prince Oscar, with considerable 
show of cordiality in the Continental fashion, bidding 
him a hearty welcome in the name of his illustrious sire 



14 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

and the British nation,and expressed the universal sorrow 
felt for the Kaiser, whose serious illness prevented his 
being present in person. Ten minutes shaking of hands^ 
and the Royal party stepped out, — ^the signal for a band 
to strike up the German National Anthem. In less than 
three minutes the postillioned carriages had set out upon 
their short journey to the Castle. 

A series of sharp commands ran down the line of 
officers, and many thousand feet clicked sharply to the 
accompaniment of rattling rifles coming crisply to the 
*' present" 

Then occurred that which was to have terrible conse- 
quences in tiie near future. As the leading vehicle 
reached the line of people it was natural to anticipate 
some outburst of enthusiasm. But two years of Teutonic 
arrogance and deception over certain features of our 
foreign poUcy, had left an ineradicable mark upon the 
British populace; never had so much enmity been 
harboured by one race against another, and, indeed, there 
had for long been eminent writers with a full knowledge 
of the facts who prophesied open hostilities as unavoid- 
able. The Government had known of this for some time, 
but judged that the excitement engendered on such an 
occasion would stifle all antagonism and bring to the fore 
those bursts of cheering in which Englishmen so excel. 

But instead of a thunderous roar of welcome, the 
Imperial Chancellor (the ofiicial representative of the 
Kaiser) and his suite cirove up the steep road through an 
almost silent crowd 

As the Chancellor emei^ed from the station approach 
into the High Street, he touched his hat, as seemed 
natural, to the crowd. When he realized that he would 
get no response that day, a black look swept over his 
grizzled features, a look boding ill for the nation that 



A FATEFUL DAY 15 

dared thus trifle with the dignity of his position. The 
cUmax came quickly ; from the back of the crowd rose 
a single voice^ rough, loud and clear : 

"Wot cheer, sonny?*' 

A ripple of titters ran like a wave over that vast, 
tightly packed crowd, and as the fatal remark was re- 
peated down the street this developed into a great roar 
of laughter, in which the ofiicers had all they could do to 
prevent their men joining. Then foUowed other 
vulgarities : all telling, none excusable. 

" Get yer 'air cut !" 

" Wot O ! Look at 'is moustache !" 

" Go 'ome ter Germany, — ^you ain't wanted 'ere." 

"Won't Charlie Beresford wipe up 'is master's fleet? 
Not 'arf." 

" Feelmg comfy. Cocky ? Cheer up, old bird, we won't 
'urt yer — ^not now, leastwise." 

In vain policemen endeavoured to reach the offenders, 
in vain others, ashamed of their countrymen, told them 
forcibly to " shut up." The game seemed infectious, and 
the Chancellor can have been little pleased when eventu- 
ally he drew up at the door of the private chapel. 

It was remarkable, however, that he did not mention 
the occurrence to his august host. His Majesty the King, 
and this was taken as a sign that he had overlooked the 
unmannerly treatment to which he had been subjected, 
and the courtiers about his person felt accordingly much 
relieved for the Chancellor in Germany represents a 
people's will. But the Chancellor, in addition to many 
other accomplishments, was a bom actor, and though he 
looked forgiveness, he harboured hatred ; though he 
might appear unconcerned, he burnt inwardly with silent 
rage. He could neither forgive nor forget ; they had 
not insulted him alone, but through him his master the 



i6 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

Kaiser and his beloved kingdom, the German Empire. 
And he r^stered a silent vow that from that mofhent 
he would devote all his energies to finding a means 
whereby he might humble the British nation to the very 
dust 



CHAPTER IM. 
The Chancellor Dissembles. 

The religious ceremony has been described by the 
press with such a wealth of detail that of it nothing need 
here be said Of the reception afterwards, however, a 
few words are necessary. There, in the great hall and 
spacious suite of reception rooms, were met together not 
only the dite of England but of many neighbouring 
nations as welL Russian Grand Dukes, German Prince- 
lings and French nobles rubbed shoulders with the 
highest in our peerage, and there were also representa- 
tives in large numbers of the two services. The 
Chancellor, it was remarked, seemed more than usually 
affable, and, seeing the veteran sailor and tactician 
Admiral Sir John Angler chatting with the newly united 
couple, and, in his bluff , hearty way giving them his best 
wishes, he strode up to him, and slapped him genially on 
the shoulder, 

" How now. Admiral, how now ?" 

The sturdy sea-dog turned round, astonished at the 
free condescension of the Chancellor. 

" Right glad to see you. Prince," he cried, grasping the 
proffered hand, — ^for above all men. Sir John was persona 
grata at court, either at home or on the continent, " may 
I congratulate you on this happy event, and express the 
wish that it will seal the bond of friendship between your 
great land and ours." 

" Very diplomatic. Admiral, and quite up to your form. 
How's the Navy, now ? going strong, eh ? I suppose you 
intend to create a record in welcomes when His Majesty 
jpf Japan arrives ?'' b 



i8 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

" We shall do our best, sir, to sustain a reputation for 
doing things well. Am I wrong in asking if His Majesty 
the Kaiser will grace our Review at Spithead?" 

" Ah ! my f riend» that is wrapped up in the mysteries 
of the future. As you are doubtless aware our naval 
authorities have this year planned extensive combined 
manoeuvres in the North Sea and His Majesty hopes to 
¥ritness them in person. Tirpitz informed me that the 
late summer would be most suitable for the operations^ 
and it is not unlikely, therefore that they may cladi with 
your magnificent display. You will have how many 
battleships^ did I hear ?" 

"That has not been decided, Prince," replied the 
tactful Adxoiral, "but we shall not disappoint His 
Majesty, I beheve." Then as the Chancellor moved 
away with a smiling nod, he muttered " I wonder what 
all that gush was for, my clever friend? You are not 
usually so familiar and inquisitive as you proved yourself 
to-day. Well, we shall see later whether there is any- 
thing maturing at the back of your head. Ah ! Foumier, 
how are you," and a noted French Admiral and he were 
soon engrossed in an animated technical discussion. 

At the banquet that evening, the Chancellor made a 
speech. He had carefully prepared it beforehand, but 
had hurriedly altered certain sentences to suit his new 
state of mind Our King had first toasted the young 
couple, who were to depart on the following day for 
Germany, and had, after a short but fittiz^ >^eply from 
Prince Oscar, given the health of his august nephew 
through his representative. The strains of the German 
hymn had scarcely died away ere the Imperial Chancellor 
rose smartly to his feet, and glanced right and left over 
the applauding guests. A fine figure he made, too, sten^ 
disciplined and great Then he spoke. 



THE CHANCELLOR DISSEMBLES 19 

"Your Majesties, Impeiial Highnesses^ my Lords> 
ladies and gentlemen. To-night I rise to address you <m 
behalf of my Imperial Master, the Kaiser, and hasten to 
express his regret that tmf ortunate drcomstances forbade 
his attendance on so historic an occasion. His Majesty 
your Kong has given you the Kaiser's health in a speech 
of exquisite wordii^, and the compliment he does to him, 
he does also to his illustrious grand-sire, the founder of 
the united German EmjHie over which, by Heaven's 
gracious will, he holds sway. This day is a day of 
rejoicing to us all, but more particularly to him personally. 
It has been the unhappy lot of our respective peoples to 
differ upon certain points of truly minor consideration! 
and these differences have unwittu^ly been tibe founda- 
tion of considerable ill-will, — ^an ill-will fanned by 
circumstances into sparks or racial enmity as unnatural 
in the one people as in the other. But the happy occasion 
which has drawn us all together to-day should be the 
means of drawing together for all time the countries we 
respect : the greatest peoples, I may say, in the world It 
will prove, let us hope, not only a imion of hearts but 
also a imion of nations. In it Ues a promise of that last- 
ing neighbourliness that is so necessary and will prove 
so advantageous to both of us, and this day marks the 
commencement of a long era of international prosperity 
for the peoples of both nations. The soul of your people 
will go out to my people, and the soul of my people will 
go to your people. Need I comment upon the honour 
conferred upon Germany by this marriage, — ^it is to us 
a deep and abidii^ pleasure that there should be added 
to the Imperial family circle one of England's fairest 
daughters. His Majesty the Kaiser has watched with 
anxiety the attachment that has culminated so happily 
this day, and in his name I earnestly invoke the blessing 



20 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

of Almighty God upon the union. From now onwards 
let us hear no more talk of wars and hatred, let us cast 
aside the brazen trumpetings of Mars and take up the 
sickle of everlasting Peace and good-fellowship. Our 
destinies are irrevocably united by bonds of blood- 
kinship that defy severance, our ends are pacific and point 
towards a joint commercial opulence without thought of 
territorial aggprandisement Why, we have asked our- 
selves, do our dear brothers in England see a menace in 
the construction of a German Navy? And my reply is 
that, as a nation, you do not g^dge us our sea-power, — 
that the fault for all the past bad thoughts may be 
brought home to the irresponsible and quite fallacious 
newspaper articles and sporadic speeches of rash people, 
published both here and in our own country. The 
result has been a vague irritation on both sides of the 
water; which apparently fostered with care by those 
whose interests it is to excite that kind of emotion. Let 
us be done with such ideas, once and for all. Our Navy 
is a menace to no one who holds up no menace to us ; 
' but to Germany a powerful Navy is as essential as a 
great army. From his mother's side a drop of sea-blood 
flows in the Imperial veins. When His Majesty came 
to the Throne after his grandfather's Titanic age, he 
swore the oath of a soldier that he would do his utmost 
to keep the bayonet and cannon at rest, but he swore 
also that the bayonet must be kept sharp, the cannon 
loaded, and both in working order, so that neither 
jealousy or envy looking askance at us from without 
might disturb us in the cultivation of our garden and in 
the decoration of our beautiful house. He is not warlike ; 
he is essentially a man of peace. Upon the ground of 
the experience which history had taught him. His 
Majesty pledged himself never to strive for empty world 






THE CHANCELLOR DISSEMBLES 21 

dominion. For what has become of those who waded 
through gore to a victor's throne ! Alexander the Great, 
Napoleon the First, all the great heroes of war, swam in 
blood ; and they left behind them nations bowed beneath 
the yoke which rebelled again at the first opportunity 
and brought these empires crumbling to their fall. The 
world-wide empire of which we in Germany have 
dreamed, is characterised by this, that above all, the 
newly created German Empire is to enjoy the most 
absolute confidence on every side as a quiet, honest and 
peaceful neighbour. If ever history should come to 
speak of a German world-wide Empire, or of a world- 
wide dominion of the Hohenzollems, this empire, this 
dominion, is to be founded upon conquests gained not 
by the sword but by the mutual confidence of those 
nations which press towards the same goal. Let this 
marriage to-day be one further step in uniting our two 
great nations to one common bond, and in pursuance of 
the same course, a universal peace. I thank the Great 
Deity, at whose Throne I worship, for this memorable 
occasion, and tender a vast mede of gratitude to your 
illustrious Sovereign ; lastly I wave my glass to one of 
Germany's dearest daughters, Alexandra, aad to her 
husband, a Prince we love. Hoch ! Hoch ! ! Hoch ! ! !" 



CHAPTER IV. 

••A Small Cloud ." 

About seven miles from the grand old town of Gotha, 
, buried deep amid the pleasant groves of the lovely 
Thuringen Wald, is a squat, grey-stone castle. It is not 
conspicuous f rcmi any point, but lies hidden there, resting 
upon a verdant plateau, with surroundings more charming 
than the imagination can well paint In front, a long 
lake, its waters, where left clear by the blossoming regia, 
a shimmering mirror to the dark firs, mighty oaks and 
autumn tinted copper beeches ; behind, a bank of im- 
penetrable forest, the obvious depth of wood lending a 
darker hue to the wondrous green of the trees. The 
castle, solemn and bleak, straggled some four hundred 
feet along the translucent borders of the lake, and at 
either end a truncated tower terminating in the true 
Teutonic spire, gave an air of mystery to the historic 
building. Still, it was a fine house, and the most casual 
observer would remark many signs of modem comfort, 
betokening nothing old-world within the ancient walls. 
The great archway, leading to a central court, was 
supported upon either side by a great electric globe, and 
green slattern shutters lay back brightly from the two 
tiers of narrow windows. Festooned curtains fluttered 
gently behind the open panes and above all, crowning 
the westermost turrent, fluttered the royal ensign of 
Germany, the flagstaff rocking to the wayward flaps of 
the heavy btmting. The grounds, too, were well tended, 
and flowered borders gave colour against the yellow 
gravel or sombre stone colonnades, whilst busy gardeners 



''A SMALL CLOUD '' 23 

hden with trowel and hoe, or trundling prehistoric 
barrows^ lent an air of bustle by no means unpleasant 

And this had all been effected in the space of a few 
wedcs, — ^f or the castle was an Emperor^s wedding gift 

Voices came floating over the water, and the square 
prow of a punt swung lazily beneath one of the picture- 
esque flanking bridges. In it were two young people, 
the one a girl dressed in a white summer gown, the other 
a flaxmelled youth, lazily reclining on a mound of soft 
cushions and driving his craft at snail pace through the 
tideless water. 

The girl was dipping her fingers in the ripples and 
trickling the drops on her companion's face, laughing 
gaily at his vain endeavours to avoid the damp offerings. 
At last he drew a cushion down tightly over his head, 
and in a stifled voice cried out, 

" That settles you, Xandra." 

" Oh, you poor old thing," she repHed t^singly, and 
then, witii a movement exquisitely tender, she removed 
the cushion and kissed his forehead. 

" Oscar," said a soft flute-Uke voice, " I wouldn't annoy 
you for all the kingdoms of the world" 

For two minutes they peered into each other's eyes, 
each reading the other's thoughts, each far from the 
world of which they formed a part 

The Princess looked away suddenly and began to fold 
tacks in her deUcate muslin skirt with restless, busy 
fingers. 

" Did you ever guess, Oscar, that before we were 
married I — I *' She looked down at him imploringly, 

"You hated me, Xandra?" he asked, searching the 
sweet girlish face for her answer ere her lips could frame 
it " Did you ever guess that I — I nearly hated you ? 
Forgive me for the blind fool that I was! Now — ah. 



24 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

Xandra, you don't know how I thank God for that 
glorious day at Windsor, because I love — love — ^you, 
sweetheart, as I never thought to love a womaa" 

He kissed her hand in a transport of rapture, but she 
drew away from him, half in shyness, half in coquetry. 

*' Someone may see you," she murmured ; " and how 

dreadful that would be, dear ^" 

" Say it, Xandra ! ' Dear ' ?" 

" Husband," she whispered with cheeks aflame. 

" Princess mine — and wife o* mine !" 

The punt glided lazily on and the Princess Alexandra 
spread her long slender fingers wide and let tKe water 
ripple through them. As they floated onward the nose 
of the punt was brought up sharply against an over- 
hang^ing branch and Prince Oscar lay back with a sigh 
of contentment 

" I'm tired of paddling, so we'll leave the punt to do 
what it likes. And besides, I want to talk— of— of many 
things, Xandra! Of you and myself and — love! .... 
Little sweetheart, did you know what love was — ^how 
sweet, how altogether splendid? So splendid, dear, that 
if all the rest of the world were swept away and only 
you and I were left, I should have to be glad, Xandra, 
because nothing could ever rob me of a moment's 
loving !" 

The girl's eyes were misty with strange, new 
emotions; her breath fluttered between her slightly 
parted lips ; her heart beat warm and fast How could 
she know what love was — ere her Prince came with 
Love's sweet message throbbing in his breast? 

" You taught me all I know and all I wish to know of 
love," she answered, and her voice floated on the mellow 
air like a light wind whispering through the reeds. 



«A SMALL CLOUD—" 25 

He reached out towards her and took possession of a 
band, and for five minutes they were silent 

A miraculous change had tsiken place in the relations 
of these two young lives. Starting from the altar with a 
determmation to make the best of things, though con- 
vinced of mutual dislike, they had speedily discovered 
good points in each other, and three days together had 
sealed a bond of lasting friendship that was shortly to 
develop an equally lasting love. Princess Alexandra 
had at once found out how much of the scandal sur- 
rounding her husband bore any semblcince of truth. He 
was not a drunkard, — ^far from it, being rarely known to 
touch intoxicating Uquors. True, he had been as other 
yoimg men at Bonn when it came to affairs of the heart, 
but, after all, these things can readily become of the 
past, done with and forgotten. Curiously enough, he 
also possessed two complete ears, — ^the scar which had 
been exaggerated into the loss of half of one, having 
healed completely and invisibly, — ^moreover the "red 
scar from his nose to his right ear '* proved, on closer 
inspection, to be. a scarcely visible pucker on the upper 
lip ; certainly no one could call it in any way disfiguring. 
And he rode straight and hard as any of her English 
friends, could take his right and left amongst the birds 
against anyone, played a strong game of tennis, spoke 
perfect English, was an earnest, intelUgent naval officer, 
devoted to his work, — and, finally, a good all round 
sportsman. Having disposed of his physical blemishes 
to her entire satisfaction, the Princess had searched for 
blots in his nature, — ^but foimd him willing to please, 
listen, and help, devoted and thoughtfuL What more 
could she want And from the bud of satisfaction at 
this discovery there blossomed a growing admiration 
until at last, blushing as she recalled her former state- 



26 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

ment upon the same subject, she was forced to admit he 
was, looked at from every point of view, — ^a maa And 
he, also, had been pleasantly disillusioned. Instead of a 
slow, lumpy girl, as report had painted her, he found a 
fresh, energetic young maid, sweet>natured and loving, 
and he tell captive to her many charms long before even 
she had overcome the wrong impressions she had formed 
of him. 

Presently the conversation had drifted to the day of 
their wedcUng. 

" Prince Von Bulow must have been mad at his recep- 
tion, dear," she said, recalling the silence which had 
greeted the Imperial representative. "I can't under- 
stand why he was so good-himioured about it. It was 
awfully sweet of him to take it like that" 

Her husband thought a minute or two before replying. 

*Do you know, Xandra, I don't quite fathom the 
Prince. He's had something on his mind lately thaf s 
been troubling him, and I can't help connecting it with 
that unforttmate incident at Windsor. He has a bi^ 
idea of what is due to the representative of the Emperor 
of Germany, dear, and I can scarcely understand his quiet 
attitude that day. Since being appointed Regent, von 
Bulow has been a different man. I do hope he'll do 
nothing rash before father's return from Spa or at least 
until my eldest brother gets back to take over tem- 
porarily the reins of government" 

"You don't anticipate trouble, sweetheart?" asked the 
Princess, anxiously scanning his face. 

" No-o-o," he repUed slowly, " but " 

" ' But ' what dear ?" she queried. 

"Just 'but'," he concluded smilingly. "Come, we 
had better make for home, I think. It's getting too 
chilly for you out here in that flimsy dress, dear " ; and 



" A SMALL CLOUD " 27 

suitiDg the action to the word, he swung the long punt 
round and drove it with strong sweeps of his paddle 
towards the little Gothic boathouse behind the bridge. 

So far their married life had been a perfect Eden, and 
each day opened for them a further spell of happiness. 
Friends came from all around and in that quiet comer 
much of the hated social etiquette of the German Court 
was flxmg aside. Princess Alexandra soon made friends^ 
and was pleased to know Countess Zlingenbosch and 
Herr Schmidt, glad to be on terms of intimacy with that . 
great middle-class so long barred to her in England 
She often wondered what her mother would think of 
her greatest friend, Frau Hecklestein, the young wife of 
a wealthy Berlin merchant, who owned a neighbouring 
Schloss. It was a pleasant change from the maddening ^ 
servility to which she had been accustomed, and the 
tenants of their estate about the castle adored their 
young mistress and master much as the folks of 
Sandringham worship His Majesty King Edward VII. 

Then, too, her trips into Gotha ! With her husband she 
would motor over to the old town and do her shopping, 
and once even bought some apples in the cobbled 
market-place, bringing down showers of blessii^ upon 
her head from the aged sales-woman behind the stall 
Once she had to pay a state visit to the young Grand- 
Duke and his wife, up at the great barrack-like Palace, 
and found in her cousin, — ^for the Grand-Duke was 
dosely related, though she had not met him since his 
Eton days, — sl cheery companion, more English than 
German and retaining ever a yearning for the land of his 
birth. 

For several weeks this round of quiet pleasure had ^ 
continued uninterruptedly, and then one morning a 
letter, bearing the Chancell(»:y initials^ arrived by spedai 



28 THE WAR-ffjEVITABLE 

messenger for her husband Prince Oscar opened it 
and, as he read, his face went white with apprehension 
and repressed excitement It was a direct command 
from the Chancellor to hold himself in readiness for 
active service afloat, and though, as a true sailor, nothing 
could have pleased him more, it meant leaving his wife, 
his Alexandra, — and until that moment he did not guess 
how very dear to him she had become. But the letta: 
said more ; it said that the Chancellor was desirous of 
holding certain confidential meetings for the discussion 
of matters of state and, after mature consideration, had 
decided that their castle would be the most suitable place 
in which to hold them. Furthermore, that two days 
from the receipt of the letter, the Court chamberlain 
would come down to aid him in making preparations for 
the visit of a considerable party. 

He felt aggrieved that he should not have been asked 
whether it would be convenient or not, but, having been 
brought up in a very strict school, to have a command 
was equal to immediate fulfilment So he went in search 
of his young wife, and whilst withholding his inmost 
suspicions from her, told her who was coming to visit 
them. She seemed no more pleased at the prospect 
than he. 

" Its too mean of him, dear, to pitch on us, above all 
people. Just think we have only been married seven 
weeks and then I am expected to play hostess to half 
the famous men in Germany. He might just as well 
have gone to Fritz, who has a far bigger castle," she 
said complainingly. 

" I know, dear girl, but you may be sure he has some 
very good motive in coming here. Think for a minute 
how we are situated ; he can spread a report that he is 
going shootii^ in the Thuringen Wald, and what more 



" A SMALL CLOUD " 29 

natural than that he should stay with us. People won't 
ask questions and any meetings he may wish to hold 
will take place here in absolute privacy. From the 
Imperial point of view, his decision is a very wise one," 
then seeing tears starting to her eyes, he changed his 
manner abruptly, and became the sympathetic husband, 
" Cheer up, sweetheart, I had no desire to upset you, 
dear. Fm afraid I took rather too practical a view of 
things, and did not see matters in your light, Xandra." 

She smiled up at him and placed a hand lovingly on 
his arm. 

" You dear old boy, I know you could not say anything 
to displease me if you tried. But you know, dear, it was 
rather sudden, and — ^and somehow I feel there is more 
behind it . What else does he say, Oscar ?" 

The Prince started as he recalled his orders to him 
to hold himself in readiness for active service if called 
upon, and wondered how much of this he might. tell his 
wfe. For he never forgot that she was EngUsh, and 
thought and dreamt English — and, moreover, suspected 
the Chancellor of having designs against her native land. 
However, he decided he must trust her, — and why not ? 
After all, it did not necessarily mean there was about 
to be war with any country, and he, since his marriage, 
had none but thoughts of friendship towards the land 
that had given him so much happiness. Yet it seemed 
early to mobilize for the manoeuvres, — ^they had been 
fixed for the autumn and it was but the beginning of 
April then. 

" What will you say, Xandra, when I get my sailing 
orders ?" he asked tentatively, patting her hand. 

** I shall say that the Admiralty ofiicials are pigs,'' she 
answered deUberately, " and I shall be as rude as I can 
to the Prince next time I see him." 



•/ 



30 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

"But, dear, you cannot expect me to giye up the 
service completely, can you? After all, something is 
expected of me by the country. That is one of the 
penalties of being of royal blood you know, Xandra.'' 

" I suppose so, Oscar," she sighed, " but it would be 
very mean of them." 

" Well, dearie, Prince von BGlow writes in this letter 
that I am to keep myself in readiness for going on active 
service at any moment, and that may mean tomorrow, 
or in a month's time." 

A distressed little " Oh " — ^and a flood of tears^ was 
the only answer he received and he spent some minutes 
in comforting her. But he felt relieved now that she 
knew the worst, — ^it was a little load off his mind 
• ••••• ••• 

In England the furore caused by the unexpected 
outburst of bad feeling on the occasion of the wedding 
had died away ; Princess Alexandra's mother, knowing 
the state of mind with which she had entered upon her 
married life, took much consolation from the letters she 
received telling of the affection that had sprung up 
between the two young people ; and the Lady Millicent; 
now the Countess of Lynton (her husband, Lord Ronalc!^ 
having lately succeeded his father) was overjoyed at 
the transformation, and was arranging a visit to her old 
time friend and companion. More pleasant still, from 
the point of view of the Foreign Minister, was the 
change that had taken place in the attitude of the people 
towards Germany. The marriage seemed to have 
effected all that had been desired, and the friendliest 
expressions of feeling towards the Germans were to be 
heard on every side. The Press had right nobly backed 
up the efforts of the Ministers towards a lasti^ peace, 
and the " Times^" grim thtmderer of many an age, cast 



"A SMALL CLOUD '' 31 

vacant hints at a possible Anglo-German Rapproche- 
ment on the lines of the Entente-Cordiale with France, 
created in 1905. 

Preparations were begun for the reception of the 
Mikado, which was to be marked by a tribute of sea- 
power such as the coming of no other monarch had 
invoked. All the ships of the Atlantic and Home Fleets 
with their attendant cruiser squadrons were to be 
concentrated in the Solent, and with them all such 
Reserve forces as could be manned. Sixty, if not more^ 
ships of Britain's only line of defence would for several 
days be anchored in vast lines between the Island of 
Wight and the mainland, and down these steelen lanes^ 
the two Emperors of the East and West would steam 
in solemn procession. On June 7th would it begin, — a 
Monday momii^, — and not imtil the bells of the 
Sabbatli following was there to be any talk of dispersaL 



CHAPTER V. 
What Princess Alexandra Heard. 

Again we see gaily bedecked streets^ again an old- 
world town made gaudy with a thousand tints, — yet this 
time the plaudits of the awaiting crowd clashed forth in 
sonorous concord as the Regent of all Germany, with 
his distinguished companions, appeared at the portico of 
Gotha Station. Purple trimmed red baize, a very blaze 
of scarlet, stretched from the door to the pavement, 
where a magnificent motor-car, canopied and bearing the 
Royal Arms, shook 'neath the spasmodic bursts of 
energy given out by the expectant engines. Cheer on 
cheer rose from the dense Unes of patriotic Teutons^ 
and, bringing their heels together in mihtary fashion, the 
Chancellor and Prince Henry saluted in acknowledgment 
the tribute of the people's affection. 

A snort, a gfreat rasping tear as the clutch was let in, 
and the car glided silently forth on its journey to the 
Schloss. With the Chancellor went von Tirpitz and 
Prince Henry of Prussia, and perhaps these two took 
some appreciable portion of the vociferous welcome to 
themselves. They were followed by other cars bearing 
over a score of officers, mostly naval, and lastly a great 
waggon laboured behind, borne down beneath the 
baggage belonging to each member of the party. 

The Chancellor-Regent smiled broadly as he saluted 
the intermittent cheers, first to the one side and then to 
the other. He, though a vain man, was glad of this 
proof of the people's loyalty, and shewed his gladness 
openly. 



WHAT PRINCESS ALEXANDRA HEARD 33 

^'Very satisfactory, that," he remarked to his com- 
panions, as they drew out of the town on to the long, 
dusty, poplar bordered road leading to the Schloss. 

" Von Biilow," commented Prince Henry, " I do not •' 
exaggerate when I say that His Majesty's popularity has 
never been greater tfian at this present time. They 
would do His Majesty's slightest behest and be proud to 
have so experienced and talented a leader in any enter- 
prise, however daring." 

'* Really, Your Royal Highness," said von Bulow, with 
some little gratification and no inconsiderable amount 
of pride, "well, perhaps you are right, sir. He has, 
indeed, tried to be a father to our people and they are 
not unappredative of such efforts. They shall soon have 
an opportunity of proving their faith in their sovereign, 
sir — ^but how soon they scarcely realize. We circularized 
the British Press of course, — Shunting party — ^plenty of 
boars in the neighbourhood, and so on. Ah ! here we 
are," and the car, amidst further enthusiastic demonstra- 
ti<Kis, turned in at the Park Gates. 

Prince and Princess Oscar received their distinguished 
guests with a show of pleasure that did credit to their 
powers of dissimulation. The court chamberlain had 
already made all such arrangements as he had considered 
essential, and the settling down to the new surroundings 
was not therefore a matter of much difiiculty. That the 
raison (Vitre of the visit was not for a moment to be 
lost sight of was made plain when, after dinner, the 
Chancellor and chief officers retired into the selected 
apartment for the first discussion of the subject that had 
necessitated the meeting. And with them went Prince 
Oscar. 

From that time on, for three or four days, the young 
Prince became more and more reserved in his manner^ 



»* 



34 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

and the Princess, quick in perception, tajced him with 
holding some miwholesome secret and pressed him to 
make her his confidante. Alas ! he could but reply that 
such things as his father's representatives and he dis- 
cussed in private were not for women's ears ; but her 
loving heart guessed well that the matter touched her 
more nearly, as an Englishwoman, than they would have 
<ared to coof ess. 

One day, as she was passing the door of the conference 
chamber, it was flung open and a naval captain, acting as 
secretary, came out Through the open door a loud 
voice, raised in anger, sotmded : 

". . . . not to give England any warning? I call it 
. , . . " and the door closed again, shutting from her ears 
the closing words c^ her husband ; for she had recc^- 
nised his voice, speaking in evident protest — against 
what or whom siie could only guess. 

From that hour she ceased worrying her husband, 
knowing full well that his honour depended on the 
maintenance of silence as regards the secret locked in 
his breast 

But one idea possessed her soul to the exclusion 
of all other thoughts, — she must warn England, her 
England, that danger, some inconceivable, awful danger 
threatened the British Empire. 

All that was Ei^lish in her rose up in revolt against 
the treachery she could not but impute to the Imperial 
Chancellor, and though desirous of avoiding any active 
part in international politics, recognising the folly of 
such interference from one in her position, the thou^t 
diat her native land might be devastated by the under- 
hand designs and specious cunning of her adopted 
country, made it essential that she shouW in some way 
warn it of its danger. 



WHAT PRINCESS ALEXANDRA HEARD 35 

Calmer consideration caused her to realize how slight 
was the evidence upon which she based her fears. She 
herself might feel convincd that treachery was intended, 
— but would hard-headed, common sense Englishmen 
credit it ? Impossible — she felt it to be impossible — ^but 
beneath this feeling lay that subtle womanly instinct 
which spelt danger clearer than written words. 

She would try to learn more ! 

She, a Princess of Royal Blood, to spy ? For a moment 
the very idea stupefied her, appalled her inborn sense of 
honour. Yet, were they honourable in their designs? 
Surely if they were plotting to bring about the downfall 
of her dear native-land, she would be justified in the 
use of any means whatsoever to circumvent them. Her 
mind was made up, and next day, when the heavy 
curtains of the assembly room had been flung asicfe to 
let in the bright morning sun and the fresh, perfume 
laden breeze, she strolled into the apartment and busied 
herself with arranging the blotters, pens and other 
impedimenta on tl^ table. But though she had often 
attended to this herself, she had never shown the vivid 
intere3t she now displs^ed in the room itself. 

A great oak-panelled hall, it had never been put to 
general use, and only once prior to the visit of her guests 
had she been inside. Three wide French windows gave 
access to a low balcony, raised on stakes a foot perhaps 
from the ground outside. Here the Moat made a 
ditour, and a small pleasance, profusely planted with 
trellised roses and jasmine, filled the irregular grass- 
covered patch between the castle and the water's edge. 
Heavy curtains of green plush hung in festoons from the 
massive carved-oak canopies and between them and the 
window would be space for many persons. But there 
the risk would be too great, — ^and moreover it would be 



36 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

an act of considerable difliculty to secrete herself just 
before the meeting, and to remain hidden without her 
prolonged absence during the sitting being noticed. 

There were three doors, one at either end, and the 
other, double, Mrith handsomely painted panels^ leading 
into the main hall. The smaller doors gave entrance to 
a smoking room on the one side and a Uttle ante-room 
on the other, but only from the former was there a 
separate exit So she decided she must listen from the 
smoking room. 

No sooner had she made up her mind than the fear 
of the consequences in the event of discovery came upon 
her with renewed force. She pictured herself, a 
Princess, arraigned before the stem Chancellor and his 
equally stem councillors, — and for a moment hesitated 
in her determination. But against these thoughts rose 
visions of England being trodden ruthlessly beneath the 
foot of a foreign invader, of English homes destroyed 
and farms devastated, of English families mourning the 
loss of dear ones shot down in defending of their all, 
and more than their alL And as these visions came 
and went, and came yet again more and more vividly. 
Princess Alexandra clenched her delicate hands and set 
her teeth. 

That evening, when the heavy doors had finally closed 
upon Von Biilow and his officers, and she knew they 
were met for at the least two hours, she crept fearfully 
into the Httle lounge ; the sudden change to the smoky 
atmosphere caught her throat and she suppressed a 
cough with an obvious effort Then, leaving the light 
full on, and the door ajar, she sat back in a deep padded 
leather chair and glanced, unseeing, through an English 
illustrated journal. A confused murmur of voices came 
from the next room, and, steeling herself to the task. 



WHAT PRINCESS ALEXANDRA HEARD 37 

she crouched shivering against the intervening door and 
applied her ear to the key-hole. Ah ! the ignominy of 
it — ^she shuddered and twice whispered " And to think I 
am a Princess !" — ^as much to assure herself that it was 
no dream, as in horror at the bare idea of her action. 

A confused babble of voices was all that came to her 
for some minutes ; then, a sharp rapping on the table, 
and the commanding voice she knew so well, burst clear 
above the otKers, silencing them by its authority. 

"Gentlemen, I beg your attention, please. We have 
much work to do. First I wish to ask His Royal High- ^ 
ness a question. Prince Oscar, for two days your dear 
wife has been strangely subdued ; now, sir, tell us on , 
your honour, have you told her one word of what has 
passed between these four walls?" 

" Before God, sir, I have not mentioned the subject, 
and I will swear that she has no knowledge of it Her 
maimer, sir, may perhaps be explained when I mention 
the strain that the part of hostess entails upon one 
unaccustomed to it, — ^though gentlemen," and he turned 
to the officers about him, "do not think we are not 
pleased to have you with us. We appreciate fully the 
honour ; but you will all imderstand the position, I feel 
assured" 

"Well spoken," broke in Prince Henry of Prussia, 
beaming with kindliness, "we perfectly comprehend 
your difficulty and accept your explanation. Dear 
Alexandra is but a girl, and despite the chamberlains 
and stewards, she naturally feels that a large share of 
the responsibility falls upon her young shoulders. And 
now to work. Will you, Tirpitz, now that we have dis- 
posed of the military problem, state your case for the 
Navy. Mind, it is essential that you should have an 
immediate success if we are to bring our scheme to a 



38 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

satisfactory conclusioa As I understand you, it is 
proposed to have our entire fleet collected at Wilhelms- 
haven on or about^the same date that our English friends 
ocHnmence their Review ?" 

" With your consent, yes, sir.*' 

" And the distance to Portsmouth ?" queried the Sailor 
Prince. 

" Four hundred and forty nautical miles, sir.** 

" How long would it take, and how could so great a 
body of vessels accomplish it unseen, my friend ?" 

" To Dover, sir, they would steam at fifteen knots and 
tbence the remaining hundred and ten miles at twenty 
, knots, taking thus twenty-seven hours and a half to cover 
the entire distance. The cables out of Germany would 
aU be under supervision twelve hours previous to a start 
being made, which would be about midnight They 
would pass Dover Straits at ten o'clock the following 
evening and reach the Isle of Wight in the early 
morning of the day after. Does the programme gain 
this assembly's approval?" 

** As far as we have understood it, — yes," said von 
BQIow, *'but certain Kttle points require elucidating^ 
Tirpitz. For instance, say you are sighted by any ship 
flying the British flag?" 

"That contingency is fully provided for, sir. We 
should sink her there and then, feu: hesitancy on such 
a point could only mean disaster to our plans. I admit 
it is a drastic measure to adopt, but after much thought 
I venture to solicit your consent to that method of 
procedure." 

** Certainly, my dear Tirpitz, certainly. War can never 
be nice — ^that we fully realize ; and the more bloody it is | 

tfce sooner it will be over. Now let us fully understand < 

you. You anticipate that nearly four score of their finest 



WHAT PRINCESS ALEXANDRA HEARD 39 

ddp3 will Ke anchored ofiF Spi Aead and you already have 
fhdr names and positions, as at present arranged Each 
division of our boats will be given a certain task to 
pcff onn, and the officers who fails is to be considered in 
disgrace,— is that it? Very well, then. Now you have 
fifly-nme destroyers, and fifty-three torpedo boats,— how 
many torpedo tubes does that mean ?** 

"We propose employing only forty-five boats of each 
dass, sir, which would give us a grand total of two ' 
hundred and seventy tubes,— that is if we employ none 
but three-tube boats. We may, of course, have half a 
dozen with four tubes, similar to Nos. S76 to S81— in 
which event I have underestimated the number of tubes. 
However, that will allow a very considerable margin for 
emergencies, for even should they have ninety large 
vessels it would mean three torpdoes ajuece. Moreover, 
it' will not leave us absolutely without torpedo craft at 
home, for we should have no less than twenty-two in 
reserve. As a convoy I would suggest the new armoured 
cruiser " Gneisnau ** and one of the " Roon " class, these ' 
being well suited to running down and sinking a liner 
^ould such prove necessary. Furthermore, each com- 
mander will be givai a duplicate set of instructions, to 
be opened only when the Straits of Dover are astern. 
Any British cruiser or destroyer would be promptly sunk, 
at whatever cost, — ^f or it would be worse than disastrous 
to resort to half measures." 

The Chancellor stopped him, and reaching across the 
table put his hand on that of Tirpitz, saying 

"That will do, my friend, that wiD da I perceive 
you have forgotten nothii^ and we can entrust the final 
preparations to you in the full confidence that you will 
carry them through to the end in a manner creditable 
to your nation and your sovereign. Let me add, a 



40 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

communication just received from His Majesty, whilst 
reporting a further increase in his strength, gives me full 
. authority to deal with this matter in the way we think 
best As he remarks, the insults offered our national 
honour can be wiped out only in blood" Havii^ said 
> this, a deliberate invention, von B&low concluded, " Now, 
gentlemen, before we part for the last time, the secretay 
shall read the siunmaiy of the arrangements, and the 
manner in which we propose to carry them into effect*' 

Princess Alexandra waited to hear no more. She slid 
silently, horror stricken, from the room. Could she have 
heard aright, she wondered? and and for some minutes 
she pinched herself, read half a page of a book, looked 
into a looking glass and did many other things to assure 
herself that she was in no trance, no hideous dream. 
How her anger rose at the calm, cruel, measured tones of 
the Chancellor — she could not beUeve her father-in-law 
had really sanctioned so vile a proposal ; ugh ! the very 
thought of it made her feel dizzy. And yet, if she were 
desirous of aiding her mother-land, she must pull herself 
together and act, — act 

Up she flew to her room, — three minutes before the 
glass, a touch of the lovely hair here and there, one soft 
rub with powdered paper and she was herself again. 
Reason had reasserted itself, and she determined to face 
the issue calmly. She remembered that in her last letter 
Lady Millicent, Countess of Lynton, had invited her to 
come over and stay with them, and she had repUed by 
extending her own invitation to them to visit the Schloss. 
' She would ask to take a trip with her husband to 
England, — ^at the most, she cotUd only be refused. 

And next day it was a subject for remark that Princess 
Alexandra had recovered her lost spirits. Laughter and 
jest leapt from her smiling Ups and the stem, unbending 



i 



WHAT PRINCESS ALEXANDRA HEARD 41 

councillors entered for once into the general gaiety. 
Indeed, the strain of the meetings, now finally terminatec^ 
had been very great, — ^necessitating a constant concen- 
tration of thought and a strenuous attention to detail 
One error, and Germany would cease to esdst as a great 
Power ; perfect preparedness and she might become the 
ruling nation, — ^mistress of land and sea. At the break- 
fast table the Princess broached the subject of a visit to 
her native land. 

Prince Henry frowned as she made the suggestion^ 
especially as she had been careful to include her husband 
After a moment's thought he answered her: 

" Oscar is a sailor, my dear, and I fear is becoming a 
very lazy one ; we had arranged that he should rejoin his 
ship next week and I r^ret we cannot see our way to 
cancelling the order. But I [Mromise you you shall go to 
England before long," he said finally. 

Princess Alexandra, true to her part, showed her keen 
disappointment in a flood of tears and silently left the 
table. Scarcely had the door closed than the Sailor- 
Prince turned to his nephew. 

** Oscar, have you been putting these foolish ideas into 
Alexandra's head?'' 

" No, sir, — it is the first I have heard of her desire to 
go. I knew she had received an invitation from the 
Coimtess of Lynton, but understood she had refused and 
instead, had invited her and the Earl to stay with us." 

"Umph! well, anyway you must knock that little 
desire on the head. You understand ?" 

" Yes, sir," repUed the Prince, obediently. 

Prince von Buk)w, who was also present at the Royal 
table and had been Ustening attentively, here interposed 
a remark. 



42 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

''May I venture to make a suggestion, your Roydl 
Highness ?" 

"Certainly, Biilow, — ^what is it," said Prince Henry 
shortly ; he disliked his decisions being questioned, even 
by the all-powerful Chancellor. 

** It is that Her Highness be allowed to pay the visit 
by herself. We shall then have her, — if you wiU pardon 
my sayii^ so. Prince Oscar, — out of the way." 

The young Prince flushed up hotly in protest, but 
before he could utter a word his uncle, waving him to 
silenoe, answered: 

" A very good suggestion, Biilow. We will act upon 
it She shall leave for England on June the seventh. 
and the mere fact of her coming will do much to disarm 
suspicion, should such exist Oscar, my lad, I feel for 
you and realize how deeply you love your dear wife, but 
remember this, — ^your country before everything. And 
moreover, should we succeed, as we have every reason to 
believe, there will be a crown for all of my Royal 
brother^s sons somewhere. Never forget either— our 
future hes on the seas." 

Prince Oscar nodded a silent assent to his uncle's 
wishes and quietly left the room. 



CHAPTER VI. 
The Coming of the Mikado. 

On Saturday, June 5th, a huge crowd had congregated . 
at an early hour along the wide, expansive Southsea 
esplanade. A Punch and Judy show squeaked its 
invitation for an audience on the g^ssy common at the 
back, and a cocoa-nut shy rose temptingly not far off. 
Yet by neither of these stood so much as a sii^le patron. 

All eyes were towards the sea, — for the Mikado was 
coming that day and his fleet had been signalled from 
SelseaBill! 

The myriad yachts flew each a small ensign symbolical 
of the Risii^ Sun; even the Solent passenger steamers 
were gaily strung with bxmting amongst which the 
Japanese ensign was the predominant feature. Hawkers 
made great trade along the stony beach with slum-made 
Japanese wares, — dolls, glazed paper flags, cabinets^ 
rough-carved but quaint, ornate fans of every hue and 
design, even wooden chop-sticks with painted handles. 

Of a sudden, a confused murmur passed down the 
line. Someone on Southsea Castle had seen the ships 
through a telescope. 

As one, the dense mass directed its gaze towards the 
south-east and stared expectant across the calm, shim- 
mering ocean. 

As one, they saw and remarked on the growing- 
columns of smoke rising behind the chess-board painted 
forts. 

As one, they shouted " There they are," and stood on 
tiptoe to score if possible the small advantage of an 
additional inch. 



44 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

An intense hush followed, a breathless excited hush* 
as the huge grey hulls gained momentarily in size. 
Fifteen minutes passed and the leading ship^ followed 
T^y all, swung boldly into the buoyed channel, conned by 
deft pilots sent before to meet them. 

Closer still, and the long lines of white-garbed sailors 
could be picked out manning ship. A wisp of feathery 
steam started from behind the foremost funnel and 
immediately the hoarse, piercing cry of a syren rent the 
air. 

A gun crashed noisily somewhere to the right 

" Lord, ain't that stirring," came a loud cockney voice, 
full of conviction, then, 

'* Come along, boys, give 'em a cheer, — ^Hurrah!" 

Hurrah ! ! Hurra-a-a-ah ! ! ! 

An immense volume of soimd spread out to meet the 
incoming ships, and over in the Wight they caught that 
tumultuous cheering, and from Sea- View and Ryde cast 
forth an answering echo. As the second gun broke 
rolling in a thunderous welcome, a huge Imperial Stan- 
dard of Japan cracked briskly out from the steelen main- 
mast of the flagship . 

" And hurrah ! ! yelled the crowd, and yet again a vast 
Hurrah!!! 

" What name did yer sye, mate ?" asked a marine of a 
sailor friend, shouting his question into his very ear to 
gain a hearing above the all pervading turmoil 

" ' Kashima ' the fust one, and ' Katori ' the second, 
but I can't size up the third hooker, though I *ave 'eard 
say as it was took from the Rooshans." 

Hurrah ! ! Hurra-a-ah ! ! ! no cessation, not a momenl^s 
quiet, — ^the Japs do not come every day, so Hurrah ! ! ! I 

And in Jove-like response the cannon of Nippon 



THE COMING OF THE MIKADO 45 

bellowed a mighty salvo, flash on flash and crash on 
crash, — Gad! to have Hved only to see that sight! 

How they cheered, those men of England ! what a 
greeting to the Islanders of the distant East ! 

And no mean force had they with them either. Fore- 
most steamed the giants "Kashima" and "Katori," 
Elswick and Vickers built and found, mighty in peace 
but mightier still in action. Next sped a smaller craft, 
yet very powerful. Vast turrets, bristling with guns» 
leaned steeply on her glistening sides. Under the name 
" Poltava " she had fought many a battle, aye ! and been 
in the thickest as painted scars yet showed. Sunk at 
Port Arthur in ignominy, the Uttle yellow men had 
raised her in a record time and, ticketed as the " Tango," 
she held rsink with many monsters of a more recent date. 
Then came four cruisers, three thick clad with armoured 
walls, all historic as none others can be. " Iwate " was 
the first and in her wake steamed " Idzumo," sister 
terrors of a secure of fights, built, as their greater brethren, 
in the yards of Elswick. Three huge funnels had they, 
and the gaunt length of menacing eight inchers stuck 
rudely out before and behind. A smaller one the third, 
made famous as the "Bayan"; four-funnelled and 
ship-shape, the new-named " Aso '* held the gaze of all — 
and rightly too. The deck protected " Soya " showed no 
traces of her year's immersion in Chemulpo Bay where, 
under Russian flag and name of " Variag," she had been 
sunk subsequent to the action with the brave Uriu, one 
of Togo's foremost admirals. 

Of the rest, though interesting, why say much? The 
"Niitaka" and "Tsushima," smaller cruisers that had 
each played an ever to be remembered part, sat lightly 
on the wave. The " Akashi " and " Suma," Japan-built 
and thought out, snorted fussily after their leaders, and 
received an ovation as enthusiastic as the ones before. 



46 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

Hurrah! rose the cry, — ^Hurrah!! a thousand times. 

Japan had sent her naval visiting card to England and 
we were proud and glad to receive a manifestation at 
once so grand and so powerful All that day and on the 
Sunday, too, vessels came in from far distant parts and 
took their appointed places in preparation for the great 
review. 

Had not the King himself come down to Portsmouth 
to greet the Mikado? Had not column on column of 
description been devoted to that great meeting ot the 
Sea-Kings on the deck of the " Kashima " ? No such 
event had ever yet been chronicled in history, and 
lEmope must quail and shake at this manifestation of an 
all-powerful naval strength. Vested in those two men 
lay the peace of the entire world, ensured by a ftaval force 
that, combined, might sweep the four seas ; and land- 
forces, trained in war, that had scorned the frown of the 
Russian Bear and driven it snarling and furless back to 
its mid-Europe fastnesses. 

Never had triimiph been so great, never nation so 
stirred as by the coming of the Uttle " Yellow King," — 
and many times did this term aff ectonately ^pear in the 
papers. 

The special saloon, drawn by a huge locomotive 
bearing on its front a painted red and white sun, accom- 
plished its record run to Waterloo Junction betweai 
almost unbroken lines of vociferously cheering people, 
— and proud were those to whom the Mikado had vouch- 
safed so much as a peep at his dusky royal features. 
From the station to the Palace, by way of Traf a^pr 
Square and the grand new Avenue, now to be seen to 
the very best advantage, the continuous uproar of 
welcome echoed down street and square. Not one 
discordant note broke the pleasant symi^iony, and many 



THE COMING OF THE MIKADO 4; 

tiiere are who believe the Mikado really said to our 
most Gracious Majesty as an enterprising evening paper 
assured its readers he had done: 

'' Sire, with such a people, I cease to wonder at the 
greatness of the British Empire." 

That evening London went mad Look where you 
would, it seemed impossible to dis-associate the mind 
from Japan and things Japanese. Many scores, nay 
hundreds of young men, students from the hospitals or 
technical schools^ clerks, engineers and what not, raced 
madly here and there clad in hastily invented Kimonos ; 
in their hands were Japanese fiags, and cradcers spitting 
a cheeky fire of sparks on all and sundry. Tea*shop 
maidens and typewriters joined in the fun, and good- 
fellowship * betwe^i the sexes kt^w no restraint, — 
perhaps, indeed, it led to an overstepping of the bounds 
of strict propriety ; yet even the severe magistrates on 
the Monday morning showed a praiseworthy desire to 
forget and forgive. 

Round Trafalgar Square surged an immrgise crowd 
and from the four lion-mounted plintibs, loud-voiced 
orators yelled impassioned words and raised to boiling 
point the over-heated enthusiaaoi of their listeners. 
Pap^r boys did business hitherto unknown and had no 
need of cries to sell their wares, — ^yet still, to the manner 
bom, they shouted the news at the tops of their shrill 
trebles. 

"Paiper! 'Evenen' Noos,' 'Globe,' or ' Storr,'— Grite 
welcum to the Me-kaa-dow ! Orl the Winners ! l" 

•* 'Ere y'are, sir ! lite edition of the ' Globe,' speshul 
wires from Portsmerth, and hall arraingemints for the 
grite revoo, — thank e*, sir, kindly. Lor* Bill, — that bloke 
give me a tanner and don't want no chinge, — ^'ooray, f er 
jBpan, I says." 



48 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

And many similar remarks were to be heard Money 
seemed to count as nought, those that iiad, givii^, and 
those that had not, receiving unhop^ for amounts. 
Masters jostled their office boys and *spoke to them 
cheerily, costers (full-bebuttoned) nudged sleek frock- 
coated club-men and had jest returned for jest, — all was 
topsy-turvey, all gaiety, all turmoil Two Japanese 
students, come out to see a nation gone crazy in welcome 
to their king, were seized and borne shoulder-high to a 
statue base and not allowed to descend until each had 
said something,— or seemed to have said something, 
since no sound less than a bomb-explosion could have 
battled that inferno of human noise. 

In Piccadilly certain mondaines enhanced their evil 
reputations by appearing dressed as Geishas, and bore 
all outward resemblance to the inmates of the Eastern 
Yedo Yashiwara, — comb-fiUed shiny hair, fashioned in 
fantastic curves^ bright hued kimonos held gracefully to 
the lines of the body by a thidc-bound obi and obi- 
dome, and with natty kinchaku holding a scented 
handkerchief at their sides. Yet what awful mockery 
seemed the coquetterie de vieillessi thus adorned? 
Alas, the effect in London of the craze held bad points 
^ as well as good ones. These poor outcasts bore no real 
" likeness to the fair women of far Japan, with their 
exquisite taste in greys, browns and other delicate and 
frequently Ughter hues of silk and brocade, the faultless 
costume being matched by the coy and at the same time 
perfectly natural and simple manners and musical voices 
of the wearers. Absent, too, was that naivete, that 
exquisite charm of comportment, — absent the light- 
hearted, irresponsible ripples of heaven-sent laughter, 
absent the modesty of address and the purity of thought 
Thus may we circle the lantern of life. There is the 



THE COMING OF THE MIKADO 49 

light side and the dark side, and the twain must ever be 
ihe main contrasts of mortal existence. 

And not until the ^arlljr hours of the Sabbath, when 
ihe bell-ringers were stretching and gaping away the 
traces of their all too short repose, were the streets clear 
of the clamouring people. A hush at last feU and 
naught disturbed it but the metallic, measured tread of 
lite night constables. London had had a full memorable 
iing and slept the better in consequence. 

Sunday was June 6& ! 



CHAPTER VIL 
The Hand of Fate. 

There was more than the usual excitement amongst 
the passengers aboard the Bel^an packet "Marie 
Henriette" as she sped at nearly twenty-two knots 
across the Channel on the morning of June 7th, — as 
bright a Monday as had ever initiated a fresh week. 
Princess Alexandra was with them, on her first visit to 
England since her marriage, and locked in her bosom lay 
the most terrible secret ever held by woman. 

Outwardly calm, she rated the speed of the vessel as 
sluggish and looked anxiously ahead at the rising land, 
longing with an inexpressible longing to be once more 
on English soil, — and, above all things, to see her august 
uncle and unburden herself to him, for to him alone 
would she speak. 

Little she attended the unctuous reception by an 
adoring people, Uttle she noticed the fulsome compU- 
ments of the local Mayor who, berobed and chained, 
offered her a hearty welcome in the nation's name. She 
was all for pushing on and had no relief even when, on 
the arrival of her train in London, her mother held her 
clasped tightly and lovingly to her breast 

" My darling child, thank Heaven for this great joy ! 
tell me, how has it been with you since you left, how is 
dear Oscar, and why this hastjr decision to visit us ?** 

" Mother, oh ! mother, take me to my uncle the King, 
— do, do — ^if you love me, take me to him!" were her 
answering words, and her astonished mother stood back 
aghast, wondering whether anything could have un- 
hinged the fresh young mind. 



THE HAND OF FATE 51 

" But, Xandra, you cannot mean it ! He is piesiding 
at a banquet at Buckingham Palace and to have an 
immediate audience of him is quite out of the question. 
Compose yourself, my daughter, and tell me of your 
trouble." 

"Doii*t put me oflF, mother" she cried imploringly. 
" It is a matter for the King's ear only. Oh ! Major 
Vere " she continued, turning to an equerry, " cannot 
you see I am in earnest? Believe me, the safety of 
England depends upon it and I dare not tell my secret 
to any but the King." 

And so strongly did she plead and so sanely, that at 
last a motor was ordered and she and her mother driven 
off towards the Palace. 

But the Goddess of Chance was fighting against 
England that day. 

Down the great length of Pall Mall dashed the car, 
sharply spinning round past Marlborough House, — ^then 
away on the last short stretch towards the Palace. When 
not forty yards remained to be covered, a loud report 
rang out and the motor swerved giddily to the left and 
collided with great violence with an electric-arc standard 

A tyre had burst and taken the chauffeur utterly by 
surprise. 

From all sides people came to render aid and willing 
hands lifted a fair young form tenderly from the ground 
and bore it gently to the Palace. The Duchess was 
merely badly shaken and walked, as in a dream, after 
her senseless daughter, leaving the injured chauffeur to 
the good services of the police. 

That accident, trivial in itself, was to cost the lives of 
millions of human beings ere the many months had past 

Placed on a downy bed, amid surroundings of the 
greatest luxury lay the sole means of warning England 



A 



52 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

(rf such danger as she had never, until then, been called 
upon to face. 

Hurried messei^rs had motored hot-haste to the 
Court Physicians and soon three kindly-faced men stood 
in consultation over the girl's apparently inanimate 
body. 

" Tell me the worst, Sir Arthur, — ^please Grod I may 
have the strength to bear it," sobbed the mother, almost 
prostrated by grief. 

"Madam" replied the doctor, "have no fear. Your 
daughter is not severely injured and within a few days 
will, I trust, be on her feet agaia She has been shaken 
tod bruised, but was rendered unconscious by a blow on 
the head. The trouble is slight, I assure your Highness." 

"Thank Heaven for that," gratefully replied the 
mother, checkir^ her heavy sobs, and looking wistfully 
at the tense white youi^ face before her. 

For long hours they watched thus and as each hoiu: 
chimed from some near spire the anxiety deepened on 
the set face of the doctor, who, kept a lonely vigil, 
holding his patient's hand between his own. He had 
dismissed his colleagues and now almost regretted it 
What should he say if the unexpected, — ^the worst — ^were 
to happen? 

Bah ! it could not be. With that strong young frame 
and healthy constitution, nature must win in the long run« 
Into the early hours of the next morning he watched and 
watched, and prayed too, but never a sign was vouchsafed 
him. At lasi when hope had sunk to zero and he had 
almost given way to despair, a slight, almost inaudible 
sigh from the bed sent the blood tingling through his 
veins. He touched a button at his side and a muffled 
bell clicked once; a uniformed nurse crept in and 
approached him, and after a whispered word or two left 
the room as softly as she had entered. 



% 



THE HAND OF FATE 53 

Ten minutes elapsed and the door again opened. The 
Duchess entered, clad in a hastily donned tea-gown; 
behind her strode a fine, manly figure, bearded of feature, 
yet regal in bearing and carriage. The doctor leapt 
instantly to his feet 

It was His Majesty the King ! 

" Well, Sir Arthur, how is our little patient progress- 
ing," he whispered, as the great specialist moved to meet 
him. 

" She is coming rotmd fast, your Majesty, and as she 
had, I am told, been asking for you immediately prior to 
the accident, it is not unlikely the line of thought wiU 
follow in direct sequence and her first desire will be for 
you, ^e. Therefore I dared to have you roused, and 
crave your forgiveness if I have done wrong.'* 

" Indeed I expected to be sent for. Sir Arthur, but 
appreciate your thoughtfulness nevertheless. Sh — h-r-h^ 
my Uttle niece is coming rotmd. See — ^her eyes are 
open." 

The doctor returned to the bedside where the nurse 
was ministering to the girl, now momentarily recovering 
from the effects of the accident He held a spoonful of 
weak spirit to her hps, and as ^e swallowed it a happy 
smile spread over her wan features. 

Then she espied the King and made an obvious ^Fort 
to speak to him. 

•* Not yet, dearie, not yet " said her mother soothingly. 
** Wait until to-morrow and you shall tell us everything.** 

But the Princess essayed to speak. 

" The Germans " she began weakly, half rising in spite 
of all remonstrances. " Oh ! unde, — the — ^the — Germans 
— ^sending— torpedo boats — ^to— to" here her str«!igth 
failed her and she fell back with a heavy sigh and lapsed 
into unconsciousness. 



54 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

But it was not to Princess Oscar that the other 
occupants of the room turned, — ^it was to King Edward 

Her whispered words, enigmatical to the rest, burned 
deep into his very souL He clutched Sir Arthur by the 
shoulder and repeating what the Princess had said in- 
quired hoarsely. 

" Did she say that ? did she say that?" 

A sudden fear had gripped him, and his heart became 
heavy as stone. He guessed intuitively what his niece 
had wished to convey and grew cold with horror as he 
thought of nearly his entire navy strung out at Spithead, 
an easy prey to a determined and vei^eful foe. 

"Sir Arthur," he said excitedly, " when will the Princess 
recover consciousness again* — tell me, man, tell me? it is 
important," 

'' Sire, it would be dangerous to disturb her now for 
several hours." 

The King, restraining himself with an effort and 
endeavouring to banish the awful thoughts that flew as 
phantoms across his mind, strode gently from the room 
and down a long corridor towards his private study. As 
he reached it a footman, still buttoning up his tunic and 
showing other evidence of hasty dressing, came towards 
him. 

" Sire, an officer has important news for your Majesty 
alone, — he is below and waiting your Majesty's pleasure. 
He is from the Admiralty and — ^and — sire, pardon sire if 
I have been presumptuous, but he said it is a matter of 
such importance, that your Majesty would forgive " 

" Send him up " broke in the King in a tense voice, 
waving the flunkey away ; then to himself he said as he 
entered his room, '' Heavens, what evil has this man to 
tell me now, — ^for evil I feel it must be." 

A loud knock at the door and a haggard officer almost 



THE HAND OF FATE 55 

f eD inside the room — moreover he sank prostrate into a 
chair without a word to his Royal host and fainted right 
away. 

And as the King with his own hands poured out a 
strong glass of neat cognac, a clock outside struck five. 

In three minutes the officer had recovered, and, flinging 

etiquette to the winds cried wildly, 

" Your Majesty, tiie British Navy has been sunk at its 
mooring^. Twenty minutes ago a wire came through 

from Portsmouth stating that our finest and latest ships 
and in addition most of the Japanese vessels, were 
torpedoed by swarms of strange craft coming in from 
every direction. Oh, my God ! my God !" and burying 
his face m his hands, he burst into tears. For some few 
moments he swung backwards and f orewards in uncon- 
trollable grief, the King, thoughtful first of others as was 
his wont, patted him in a friendly, encouraging manner on 
the shoulder. Whilst he had been speaking the King 
had recognised him as Lord Bramham, a promising 
officer, naval secretary to the First Sea Lord of the 
Admiralty, and a persona grata at Court. At first, so 
haggard did he look, it was difficult to recall his face. 

'' Come, come, Lord Br$(mham, things may not be as 
black as you have painted them ; perhaps -" 

The officer leapt to his feet and handed the King a 
duplicate message of that received His Majesty read 
it in silence, and then casting his eyes to Heaven said 
earnestly : 

" If this be war, then may the Great God whom I 
worship be with my country in her time of trouble." 



CHAPTER Vin. 

The Madness of Racial Hate. 

In the great dining hall of the Kiel officer's natal- 
school» a body of perhaps ninety men sat expectant; 
iheir eyes fixed intently upon a certain door. All wore 
naval dress and all were clad in preparation for a long 
journey; no new uniforms were to be seen here, no 
spotless clothes, — all the kit of active service and nothing 
more. 

For twenty minutes they waited and then footsteps 
clanked crisply without In a body they rose to their 
feet and saluted — the Imperial Qiancellor and Admiral 
Prince Henry of Prussia 

Clothed as an Admiral, stem and unbending, the Over- 
lord of the German Fleet advanced to a little dais, behind 
which hung a rolled up plan or map. His right hand 
man. Admiral von Tirpitz, stood silent at his side and 
then he spoke, unrolling at the same time the plan, — ^a 
Chart of Portsmouth Harbour and the Solent 

" OfiScers of the German Imperial Navy. 

" I stand here in the name of my Royal brother, the 
Kaiser, whose illness we all so deeply deplore. I stand 
here to exhort you as he would himself do. 

" This day marks the turning point in the history of 
our glorious Empire, this day marks an epoch in the 
history of Europe. 

" Our great land has risen in forty years from a state 
of mediocrity to one of weighty prominence in the 
world's international counsels ; we have become a united 
nation, we have extended our boundaries, increased our 



THE MADNESS OF RACIAL HATE $7 

prestige, encouraged our army and, lastly, created our 
fleet But in accomplishment of this our Divine Missioot 
we have had to face and overcome many an obstacles 
many a seemingly dangerous stumbling-block, — yet have 
we done it, by the Grace of God 

"The time is come now, however, to move forward 
again ; we cannot afford to mark time if we would win in 
the race of nations. We must advance. Gentlemen, 
we cannot advance further because England bars the 
way, England the tyrant, England the bully, England 
the hypocrite. For years a conflict between our great 
nation and the English has been considered inevitable 
and we have had to look forward to the extinguishing of 
our Imperial hopes in the near future ; but chance has 
given us the opportunity we have so long desired. 

"Gentlemen, when the Imperial Chancellor visited 
England for the marriage of my dear nephew he was 
received by those ill-bred people with jests and jeers, yet 
said nothing. But we have not forgotten, — we neither 
forget nor forgive. From that hour we have made it our 
pleasure to find a means whereby we might humble this 
arrogrant race to the very dust, and now that means is at 
hand We have them in the hollow of our palms. Shall 
we miss the opportunity?" 

" No," came as one voice from the excited listeners. 

" You are right, gentlemen, we must not do so. Lulled 
into a feeling of absolute security, these modem Romans 
have collected in one vast fleet the bulk of their detest- 
able Navy. Will you destroy that Navy ?" 

" Yes," they yelled in unison. 

" Then, gentlemen, go forth and do so. Here are your 
instructions to each man a set, with a plan, of the Review 
and position of every ship taking part therein. I give 
you all my blessing and salute you as brothers, — you arc 



58 THE WAR INEVITABLt 

setting out to work for the furtherance of a holy causey 
a cause that will assuredly receive the sacred benediction 
of the Heavenly Being and which, if successful, will 
invoke the whole-hearted applause of the entire universe. 
I have said it" 
It was the Madness of Racial Hate. 



•I 



CHAPTER IX. 
Treachery. 

The Solent had never been so gp.y as on Monday 
morning, June 7th. A brilliant sun shone down upon a 
a scene of terrible grandeur blending with irridescent 
gaiety. For there lay strung out in vast lines from one 
end of the narrow Gut to the other, the greatest fleet 
that ever sat the waves. Between the immense steel 
mastodons flitted a continuous stream of Ught-winged 
yachts, wafted over the short snowy billows by the 
warmest breath of an ideal summer's day ; steadier rode 
the ungainly "hurrah" boats, — ^paddle-steamers plying 
for hire at a price for an "out and return** trip, and 
carrying a full-ripe cargo of joyous revellers who seized 
the slightest opportunity for giving vent to a thtmderous 
cheer. 

But it was upon the warships, that most attention was 
concentrated. Not until midday had all been collected 
from their various bases and been moored, stem to stem 
and at set distance apart, in long columns facing east and 
west Four lines were there, and in them lay collected 
sixty-seven battleships and armoured cruisers, with over 
two score cruisers of the obsolescent protected type ; and 
as though to form a tail, some eighty destroyers swimg 
Kstless far into Southampton Water. The great 
" Dreadnought,** teethed with long twelve inch guns and 
reckoned fit to meet alone any six ships of Europe's 
finest fighters, headed the nearer line, behind lay the 
^ Lord Nelson *' and " Agamemnon,** two vast concep- 
tions of Sir Philip Watts displacix]^ near seventeen 
thousand tons all told, and yet not like the '' Dread- 



/ 



6o THE WAR INEVITABLE 

nought" in cither power or weight Twelve inchers 
they carried too, but not so many — ^and made up the lack 
by batteries of the irresistible 9.2 in. B.L., the bite of 
which forced cracks across the hardest cemented armour- 
plate. At least, so it was said 

And these three, with the eight 16,350 ton "King 
Edward VII" class, formed the Channel Fleet, — ^thc 
mightiest arm ever swayed by a single Admiral 

Beyond the battleships were the vessels of the fifth 
cruiser squadron, twelve towerii^ steel-clad walls. The 
gigantic trio, " Invincible," " Indomitable " and " Inflex- 
ible " rose high above the rest, 17,250 tons of mighty 
strength, speedy as the fastest scout, powerful to smite 
even as the Dreadnought The " Minotaur," " Defence " 
and ''Shannon" were all of 14,600 tons and on their 
trials had twirled the log to show a speed of over twenty- 
three knots. The remaining six formed a distinct class 
and foremost was the "Achilles " ; menacing seven-point- 
fives htmg far behind the beam, whibt fore and aft tiie 
-solid 9.2 in. glared defiance at the admiring world 
Nearly fourteen thousand tons were they, and thought 
of enough power to tackle and beat the individual 
warships of the Teuton. Next line along counted first 
the ship-shape Japs, — ^three fearsome battleships and 
three armoured cruisers, — ^behind, five smaller craft, 
unarmoured yet perky and full of fight Then more 
great British ships, — ^the types spread out in, seemingly, 
great confusion. The third row held the Home Fleet, 
fourteen battleships as total ; their faster brethren were 
represented by the first cruiser squadron, two " Drakes " 
of fourteen thousand tons and more, and six " improved " 
County class, so called Fourthly, seven ships of the 
Reserve Fleets, battleships, cruiser scouts, gunboats, 
destroyers, submarines and indeed representatives of 
every class conceived during recent years. 



IK ■* 



TREACHERY 61 

Ah I what a display of power. With such a Navy was 
it not natural England should defy the world and dare 
tiieir disagreement to her just behests. Fifty-fiv^ 
battleships were counted in the British Fleet and of 
these no less than thirty-seven (and the newest moreover) 
were there for all the world to see. Thirty-eight ar- 
moured cruisers were also completed and in commission, 
and of their number twenty-four were anchored with 
their greater kind. This Armada represented in money 
more than eighty millions sterling and carried the pride 
of Britain's naval forces. From every bow to top of 
each fore-mast, from thence to main-tc^ and down again 
to the stem, fluttered rows of bimtii^, — all the signal 
flags and fl^^ of many nations too. And each mast 
carried besides a huge ensign, one of the Rising Sun, 
one of die Union Jack, a token of that great bond of 
friendship cemented by a mutual respect and admiration. 

From two o'clock on Monday afternoon until four- 
tfairty, every ship was free to all and any ; mjoiads came 
from far and near to see from close quarters what a war- 
ship meant There on those spotless decks trod countless 
feet and o'er the hoots and cheers of passing vessels 
came the many dialects of the visitors, Yorkshire burring* 
Devonshire chanting and Scotch rasping — ^from every 
point of the compass, Wales, Ireland, aye! and farther 
afield still, for Canada and Australasia had sent their 
children there. The papers spoke of nothing else but 
the Review, the magazines gave articles only upon the 
Navy, and in the weekly journals countless pages were 
devoted to illustrations of the various ship-types 
represented there. 

At Portsmouth and Southsea^ rooms fetched as many 
pounds per day as formerly they had shillings, whilst 
the hotels w&ce peopled with guests who had ordered 



62 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

their accommodation many months in advance, fore- 
warned by naval relations of the certain rush. Special 
trains snorted into Portsmouth from London every few 
minutes, and day excursions at ruinous prices brought 
down and disgorged hundreds of thousands upon the 
already overburdened towns. Caterers made a rich 
harvest and good meals were at a premium. The 
Common resembled some gigantic bee-hive, and here 
were come together a crowd that would make the 
Hampstead Heath habitu^ green with envy. The boat- 
men were happy at last and for ten shilling^ lugged their 
heavy craft manfully out into the Sound to give their 
passengers some view of the great lines of battleships ; as 
for the excursions steamers, the trippers waited 
thousands thick to get aboard them, and many hundred 
pounds were subsequently taken from captains who had 
broken the law of over-crowding. 

No sign of danger here, — that was certain. Yet, a 
^ sign was given that very evening which, had it been 
rightly interpreted, might well have saved the entire 
British Navy from destruction. And this warning came 
in the later evening papers, — the following, culled from 
the " Globe," is a copy of it : — 

"mysterious firing heard off YARMOUTH. 

"Captain Seth Williams of the Yarmouth smack 
"Eliza" reports having heard heavy and continuous 
firing between 2.15 and 3 p.m. coming from N.E. The 
day was beautifully clear and he tacked up in the 
direction whence the sound emanated. After a little 
over half an hour a dull sullen report was distinctiy heard 
above the firing, which at once ceased His mate who 
had climbed the mast, stated that he had seen a large 



TREACHERY 63 

four-funnelled cruiser hull-down on the horizon, seem- 
ingly making south. He was not close enough to ^ 
distinguish what the vessel was doing or whether 
she flew the English flag. Seeing no further object in ^ 
continuing on his outward course, Captain Williams 
made for Yarmouth." 

Underneath was a little note to the effect that " inquiries 
at the Admiralty have elicited the information that the 
armoured cruiser " Euryalus " left Sheemess during the 
morning for speed trials, after repairs, in the North Sea. 
It is not improbable that, the trials proving satisfactory, 
the captain decided to carry out the quarterly prize firing, 
which would account for Captain William's story. We 
may remark, in passing, that the '' Etuyalus " has four 
funnels." — 

No striking prominence was given to this paragraph, 
for, after all, it was but of the catch-penny^ sensational 
type that is to be found almost daily in one or another 
organ of the Press. But taken in conjunction with a 
second paragraph it might have suggested something 
ominous to a close observer. The quotation of which 
the above is a copy, had appeared on page seven, — ^thc 
chief news sheet, but on page nine a note called attention 
to the fact that " the passenger steamer ' Leopold II.' is 
two hours over-due, and knowing that she left Amster- 
dam punctually, considerable anxiety is felt by those who 
are expecting passengers by her. The Manager suggests 
a breakdown as the most reasonable explanation, since 
the sea is calm and the weather clear and fine ; in his 
opinion there is no cause for anxiety whatever." 

Yet who would connect the two occurrences? never 
had our foreign relations been more friendly, never had 
universal peace seemed so near realisation. That 
evening, as the sun sank, strings of electric lights set 



64 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

eftxy ship prominently in outline s^ainst die dark of 
night Many vessels had arranged dances, and bands 
played gaily as satin slippered feet skipped daintily 
step for step with regulation patent leathers. Many a 
fair trotfi was plighted, many a love pledge sealed, and 
when at three in the morning tired dancers slid wearily 
into the pufiing launches^ waiting to take them ashore^ 
many hearts felt sad at the parting, yet gloried in the 
delirious happiness of the past and the pleasant thoughts 
of the future. 

At three-thirty a hush fell on the scene and the quiet 
swvdi of the warm waves, smacking in resonance the 
steelen sides, alone gave sotmd, a sleep-bringing lullaby 
dear to the soul of every sailor. 

Suddenly, far out to the east, came the harsh call of 
a syren, shrill, wierd and piercing. A great flare lit up 
the horizon beyond No-man's Fort and a confused 
iplutter of gun reports cracked noisily across the calm 



In a moment every man in the fleet was awake and 
moving — ^but alas ! too late. 

From every side came a swarm of dark grey shapes^ 
moving at lightning speed down the long, far-strung 
lines. From east they came, from west they came, belch- 
ing great sheafs of crackling sparks, spitting red whirb 
of flame, driving huge waves, white-crested, in their van 
and leaving a twisting spume beneath their stem. 
Panting in ardent haste, trembling with the awful 
passion of a thousand devils, they cut along. To the 
left they went east, to the right they went west — and 
feenzied sailors deared the lean quick-firers and cast fair 
trappings of the evening^s ball in ruthless haste aside. 

For there could be no two ideas as to the meaning of 



TREACHERY 65 

this thing, — an enemy, a treacherous, base enemy had 
oome upon them. 

Hurry! hurry 1 my God! hurry! I 

Yet all to no purpose. The two Hnes sped on 
unchecked and readied each the farther end. 

Two htmdred angry coughs, two hundred hellish 
splashes 

Boom! Boom! ! Boom! ! ! Boom! ! ! ! 

Would they never cease ? 

The very firmament shook with the immense con- 
cussion as the torpedoes struck home. For each large 
ship there were three torpedoes at least, so one, at that 
short range, could scarcely fail to take effect And not 
content with that, the viperous foe turned sharp about 
at the colunm-ends and came hasting down again 
between new lines. 

Boom! Boom! ! Boom! ! ! 

Crash! ! ! 

Fierce boiling gerbs of mud and water shot up mast 
high against each stricken ship, and descended with 
thunderous force upon the doomed structures, rupturing 
strong knit decks, tearing away long guns, bestroying 
boats and bridges. Magazines went off in vast explosion 
and flung aside their close containing walls as nothing, — 
flames and smoke spread broad-cast, loosing hells of 
bloody agony. Boilers burst also with a sudden fury 
and raised whole decks to the heavens, spewing in 
anguish many hundred htmian beings out into the 
devouring deep. 

Boom! Boom! ! 

A thrice rung whistle sounded, high pitched above the 
explosions, — ghrr ! ting ! ting ! ! and the hostile craft put 
forth their utmost speed and fled tnxmiphant out towards 
the open sea. 



66 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

And as the black night closed down again as some 
vast funeral pall to hide this world of death, clear from 
the shore came chimes of a steeple-<:lock, — 

One, — ^two— three — four — five ! 

The British Navy had ceased to exist 



CHAPTER X 
The Narrative of Captain Evans. 

Here must we pause awhile and stay our pen for 
thought Before us lie a hundred different works, 
books, articles and pamphlets all dealing with the 
happenings we have felt it our duty to chronicle. Eye 
witnesses there were in plenty and more than plenty, but 
the sifting out of the wheat of pure truth from the chafiF 
of undue exaggeration is a matter of no conmion 
difficulty. It is old history now that even the " Times " 
was found in error of a statement, so many and various 
wete the versions of the great disaster. Yet two things 
require reciting and these two in full. The first essential, 
to lend a goodly share of realism to this narrative, is 
some account of the passage of the German torpedo 
flotilla down the North Sea. But upon this subject 
authentic information is wonderfully scarce, and for two 
very excellent reasons. The best of these is that not 
ono single unit of the said flotilla ever again saw a port, * 
and the other is that no German taking part therein lived 
to boast of the inglorious deed. 

So, having eliminated those directly concerned as 
incapable of imparting the necessary information, we 
must search farther afield, and we find that the clue to 
the doings, or such of them as we know of, lies with the 
overdue passenger steamer *' Leopold II." And to the 
courtesy of her captain do we owe the ensuing tale of the 
strange occurrences of which he was witness. 

The other essential is some accoimt of the damage 
done by the raid, and for this we shall look to an 



68 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

exhaustive description published in our leading news- 
paper, the " Times." 

Captain Evans, an Et^lish captain of a Belgian- 
owned steamer, tells a very straightforward, concise story 
and his statement is valuable as throwing considerable 
light upon certain matters that required elucidating. It 
is given in his own words without further comment: — 

" You must know that the " Leopold II " is one of the 
fleet of passenger steamers plying regularly as a rule 
between Ostend and Dover. On Friday last we left for 
Amsterdam for a summer week-end excursion, a four day 
trip frequently organised by the Company to advertise 
their line. On Monday morning we were booked to 
leave that port and steam north through the Zuider Zee 
and out into the sea by the Texel-Vlieland Channel and 
thence straight down to Dover, where we should have 
arrived by 2.30 p.m. at the latest The weather was 
glorious and the sea smooth as a mill-pond and every- 
thing pointed to a very pleasant and possibly a record 
crossing. We were easily maintaining twenty-one knots 
an hour and had made Vlieland without the slightest 
trouble, the low island standing out wonderfully clearly 
against the blue sky. Texel lay to port and ahead the 
wide sea, gently waving rollers telling us we had left the 
inland lake astern. 

" We had scarcely cleared the land, when I noticed a 
great cloud of black smoke smothering the northern 
horizon and presently a brace of dark dots could be 
descried rushing headlong towards us, signalHng 
furiously. Thinking help might be desired, I slowed 
down to ten knots and presently two torpedo-boats or 
destroyers ranged up on either side and through a 
megaphone the Lieutenant of that on the starboard beam 
hailed us and ordered us to lie to. Having no alternative 



THE NARRATIVE OF CAPTAIN EVANS 69 

I rang down and stopped the engines. A boat put ofif 
and was soon alongside, a spruce officer and two men 
clambered smartly on board. At the same time the 
German naval ensign was hoisted at the stem of the two 
low, evil-looking craft. 

*' Take me to the Captain,** said our visitor in excellent 
English to my quarter-master, who brought him directly 
on to the bridge. We saluted each other and at a word 
from him I took him to my cabin. He refused' a 
proffered cigar and began at once to speak. 

" I must apologise for detaining you, Captain," he said, 
** but by the order of His Imperial Majesty the Kaiser 
all ships found in the North Sea are to be stopped or, 
should they refuse, to be sunk without further parleying. 
I regret any inconvenience it may cause you, but must 
insist upon your steaming in company with us imtil our 
Admiral thinks proper to release you.'* 

" ' But, Sir * I protested, dumbfoimded at his coolness, 
' this is an act of war !' 

" " War ?* he cried smiling, and cracking his fingers 
derisively in the air, *pouf! against whom? This ship 
belongs to Belgium I believe and a small sum will soon 
cure their grumbles.* 

"'My passengers?* I argued, 'their friends will feel 
terribly anxious at our non-arrival' 

" ' Agreed, Herr Captain, agreed ; but anxiety does 
not kill, — and, to be blunt, we don't care a fig whether 
they mind or not' 

"'May I not at least put into Helder,* I pursued, 
innocently enough. 

" ' Ha ! ha ! ha ! put into Helder ! that is a good joke. 
No, my friend ; what have we stopped you for if not to 
prevent your carrying the news of our presence to those 
on land. Tomorrow you may do what you please, but 



70 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

today you join us. But come outside and see in what 
good company you move/ 

" Knowing that further protestations would prove all 
unavailing, I reluctantly submitted to the inevitable, but 
firmly resolved to lodge a strong complaint against this 
unwarranted action the moment we arrived in harbour. 
On leaving my cabin, I experienced a great shock. 

f'The whole sea appeared to swarm with German 
destroyers and torpedo-boats. From the bridge I 
counted over eighty, — ^you cannot conceive how imposing 
ihey looked, each painted a sombre grey and bearing 
the German ensign, in every case, at the stem. Behind 
them were two great armoured cruisers with four funnels, 
one the 'Gneisnau' and the other a vessel of the 
*Roon' type. 

"We were still lying motionless rocking gently to 
and fro upon the even swells and my passengers 
evidently enjoyed to the full the novel experience. 
When at last the gre^t flotilla had passed, steaming 
south at, I judged, fifteen to sixteen knots, the ofiicer at 
my elbow directed me to start the engines and follow 
in their wake. His boat, I noticed, had returned to the 
destroyer, leaving two men fully armed on board. These 
now stood on either side of the steersmen with loaded 
rifles. The two destroyers steamed on either beam at a 
distance of, perhaps, half a cable, so escape was out of 
the question. 

" Moreover, even then I merely imagined tiat, owing 
to the German manoeuvres which were then taking place, 
the umpires had desired to add a touch of realism by 
holding up and claiming as prizes any steamers ihey 
met I soon foimd that my captor was disposed for the 
time to be friendly, and having given the helmsman 
instructions to do exactly as he was told, entered into 
conversation with him. 



THE NARRATIVE OF CAPTAIN EVANS ;i 



M t 



These are the most extensive manoeuvres you have 
undertaken are they not ?' I queried 

" * Manoeuvres ?' he repeated with a laugh, " yes, and 
very warlike, too. We like to do things well in 
Germany. Of course we do not hope to equal the 
British Fleet though.' 

"'How much farther south are you going,' I asked 
him. 

" 'As far as our orders take us,' was the enigmatical 
reply. 

" At that moment a gun soimded ahead and we noticed 
that a huge collier had been called upon to stop. From 
her black main mast flew the British Mercantile Ensign, 
an obvious challenge to their right to fire. I was 
astounded and lost no time in expressing my surprise. 

" ' See here, sir,' I cried, pointing towards the English 
ship, ' your folks are playing a dangerous game in firing 
on that flag. Its a thousand to one that unless an 
apology is immediately forthcoming you'll get Charlie 
Beresford dusting you over.* 

" But the German answered never a word. He was 
staring straight in front of him with a tense, expectant 
look. My eyes followed his gaze and I saw enacted 
there a scene that made my blood boil. 

" A torpedo-boat ranged up to within fifty yards of 
the collier, and, as I live, fired two torpedoes squarely 
into her dirty dust-begrimed flanks. A terrible ex- 
plosion followed and when the smoke and waves had 
subsided not a vestige of the ship remained. For a 
moment I wondered whether I could be sane, — ^it was 
inexplicable, dastardly, brutal. A few heads could be 
observed bobbing about here and there, and I expected 
at least to see boats lowered to pick up the survivors. 

"But instead of that the steermen of the following 



73 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

torpedo craft deliberately steamed over the swimmers 
and either sank them or cut them to pieces with the 
whirring propellers. 

" I turned on the officer at my side like a madman. 

"'My God! you damnable cowards,' I bellowed* 
shaking my iist in anger before his face, * you shall all 
swing for that I swear, if I Uve to tell the tale.' 

" His features grew livid with rage and in a trice he 
had whipped out a heavy service revolver and covered 
me with its menacing barrel 

" * Say another word, you English swine,' he hissed 
menacingly, ' and TU send you to h — ^11 If you had not 
a large number of fore^^ners on board now you would 
not be afloat this minute.' 

*" The passengers, horrorstruck at the fiendish act they 
had just witnessed, had collected round the bridge and 
were clamouring for me. 

" The German called to one of his men to stand by, 
and gave him instructions to put a bullet through me 
at the first sign of treachery. Then, turning to the 
frightened passengers, he spoke somewhat as follows : — 

" ' Ladies and gentlemen, be calm and have no fear. 
What you have just seen ahead is merely the first act in 
a war between Germany and England, a war in which 
we are determined to win. Be assured you shall without 
exception be landed in safety with the whole of your 
belongings, but in the meantime I regret we should £pd 
it essential for the fulfilment of our plans to keep you 
with us. But I must warn you all that though I have 
but two men on board here with me, any resistance will 
prove futile, since at the least sign of perfidy, this vessel 
will be sunk by the two accompanying destroyers with 
all hands. Moreover, at the first indication of insin- 
cerity, your captain will be summarily shot As it is now 



THE NARRATIVE OF CAPTAIN EVANS 73 

nearing the luncheon hour, I should advise you to go 
below and partake of a hearty meal as though nothing 
had happened.' 

" Astonished as I was at the whole business, I could 
not but admire the manner in which this officer managed 
the affair; his self-restraint was admirable and his 
sang froid magnificent Like obedient children, the 
passengers filed slowly below talking nineteen to the 
dozen, but doubtless quite relieved on learning that 
neither they nor their goods were in any immediate 
danger. 

" * I beg your pardon, Captain, for my words just now,* 
b^an this remarkable fellow, turning to me on seeing 
his words so literally carried intfi effect, * you will under- 
stand that certain occasions demand drastic measures^ 
and though I fully comprehended your feelings towards 
me and my race, nevertheless, it was impossible for me 
to do other than I did. You see, upon my action 
depended the safety of this whole ship, — ^had I flinched 
and had you seized my men and myself, you would .all 
by now be drowned ; possibly that would have been my 
fate as well, and I have a desire to live for some time 
yet,' he concluded with a smile. 

" ' Well, sir,* I repUed, ' you are at least straightforward, 
man to man ; and if it is of any comfort to you, I will 
pledge everyone on this ship not to oppose your wishes. 
But, mind you, I do not consider the actions I have 
witnessed any the Jess questionable.' 

"'Do not trouble your head about that, Captaia 
That is our affair and it is we who will have to face the 
music I am pleased you take so sensible a view of the 
situation and, believe me, it will prove to your advantage. 
But what about some lunch ?" 

" ' I ordered my steward to bring up a cold collation for 



74 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

two with a bottle of champagne and soon his ready 
tongue had ahnost made me forget my curious position. 
He was wonderfully well-read and spoke on every con- 
ceivable topic in faultless English. He discussed our 
» Navy and compared the various types therein with those 
^. of the German Fleet, invariably to the disadvantage of 
the latter. For half an hour we sat thus conversing 
pleasantly and then again satmtered out on to the 
bridge. Another vessel had been sighted ahead, — ^a 
great British cargo steamer, — ^and two destroyers were 
already making towards her. 

" * Go inside. Captain, if you think the sight is likely 
to upset you,' urged my companion. 

" ' But you are surely not going to sink her, too ?' I 
queried, sickened with horror. 

" ' Those are the Kaiser's orders,* he replied shortly. 

** I stood as petrified ; as in the case of the collier, 
two torpedoes were fired at close range into the defence- 
less merchant ship, blowing her to smithereens. And of 
this ship also no single member of the crew was rescued. 

" In less than two hours I witnessed the destruction 
" of eleven vessels, — ^four large merchant steamers, three 
passenger steamers, three colliers and a cable ship. 
How many of my countrymen were thus deliberately 
murdered. Heaven alone can telL We for our part were 
quite powerless to do anj^hing and I even saw some of 
die passengers taking photographs of the explosions or 
of the wreckage as we passed over the fatal spot. But 
the most awful feature of this death drama was still to 
be enacted. As the two torpedo-boats told oflF for the 
ghastly work had ranged up alongside the eleventh ship, 
the look out reported a large four-funnelled vessel on 
the horizon to starboard. It was at once evident that 
the stranger must have witnessed the destruction of the 



i 



THE NARRATIVE OF CAPTAIN EVANS 75 

last collier and was bearing up for investigation. As she 
bulked larger and lai^er on the horizon all eyes were 
turned in that direction, and I noticed a look of appre- 
hension upon the face of my captor. Hastily fetching 
my binoculars from the chart room I fixed them on the 
approaching ship and there, clear against the blue 
siunmer sky, waved the White Ensign. 

" She was a British Cruiser ! 

" My heart leapt at the knowledge, but immediately 
afterwards I realized the terrible odds she would have to 
face. One ship against two of similar class and over 
four-score torpedo vessels ! It was too much. Glancing 
around, I noticed that hasty preparations were being 
made on board the ' Gneisnau * and ' Roon,* — for such, 
I had ascertained, was the second German cruiser — for 
the coming conflict Through my glasses, too, I could 
see similar preparations being conducted in the English 
ship. The topmasts were struck, the boats dropped and 
left behind, and a continuous rain of wooden articles, 
chairs, bookcases, etc., seem to fall from her straight gfrey 
sides into the sea. The destroyers and torpedo-boats, I 
was ,glad to see, fought shy of her, unless indeed the two 
armoured cruisers were considered capable of sinking 
her out of hand. 

" I luckily had a ' Brassey's Annual ' and dipped into 
it to see what chance the poor vessel would have against 
odds so great She had made her number by Jane's 
Code, and on looking up C.E., I found she was the 
'Euryali^s' of 12,000 tons, armed with two 9.2 in. B.L. 
and twelve 6 in. Q.F. as her main armament The 
' Gneisnau ' was of 1 1,600 tons and the ' Roon ' displaced 
9,500 tons and between them they mounted twelve 8.2 
in. Q.F. and sixteen 6 in. Q.F. ; moreover, they could 
concentrate their united fire on the one British ship. 



76 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

whilst the latter would be forced to divide her favours 
between two. The actual speed of all three vessels was 
about the same. Though convinced the 'Euryalus' 
would put up a splendid fight, I anticipated a speedy 
ending to it and an easy victory for the Germans. 

" At eight thousand yards the ' Euryalus * tried a 
sighting shot from her forrad 9.2 in., and hit the 
' Gneisnau ' fair between the two 8.2 in. guns of the 
starboard central battery. A huge flare followed and, 
imable to restrain themselves, my passengers sent up a 
salvo of cheers. Soon they were at it hammer and 
tongs, and presently the British cruiser appeared to be 
on fire in a score of places. The German ships had, 
by their superior gun-fire, soon knocked three of her 
funnels over the side, and her speed dropped to a mere 
crawl. Yet one thing we noticed The 'Roon' had 
steamed up on the port side and the * Gneisnau ' to star- 
board, — ^but never once were the great bow and stem 
chasers of the ' Euryalus ' turned on the smaller German. 
They devqted their whole attention to the ' Gneisnau.' 
Presently we could see that the * Gneisnau * had ceased 
to move and that, though the fire from the British 
cruiser was weak, that from the largest German ship 
was weaker stilL 

** All this time we were steaming farther and farther 
away to the southward, and the combatants were now 
little more than specks on the horizon. With the aid of 
glasses, however, it was still quite easy to follow the 
course of events. As I stood there, my eyes glued to the 
lenses, I witnessed a marvellous thii^. The ' Eurjralus * 
swung slowly round and laboured heavily alongside the 
immobile * Gneisnau ' ; for a moment they seemed to be 
touching and then a huge gerb of spray shot skywards 
' between the two ships and, with bewildering sudden- 



THE NARRATIVE OF CAPTAIN EVANS 77 

ness, both of them diiSappeared beneath the waves. 

"They had torpedoed each other simultaneously at 
a few yards distance ! 

"An hour later the 'Roon* caught us up, (we had 
slowed down to ten knots to allow this) and confirmed 
what we had seen. A sorry plight she looked to be in, 
too, and very different from the smart ship that had set 
out so full of confidence to the fight. All her funnels 
were pierced through and through, though aheady men 
were at work examining the damage and f astenii^ over 
canvas to assist the draught of the furnaces. Her masts 
were much hit and the main topmast had disappeared 
altogether. Two of her six inch guns were also out of 
action and her side was scarred and torn in a terrible 
manner. At least, I thought, they shall not twist the 
Kon's tail with impunity. Then came this stunning 
reflection,— and I wondered why it had not come to me 
before. 

"Why had Germany gone to war with England? 

"When I had left Amsterdam the whole world was 
at peace, — and Germany and England were particularly 
friendly. What had brought about the sudden change? 
Strange as it may appear now, I never connected the 
journey of this huge flotilla into southern waters with 
the Royal Review at Spithead. But calm thought 
certainly made the reason of these curious happenings 
of which I and all in my ship had been witness, even 
more inexplicable than ever. 

" The evening drew in slowly and up to ten o'clock, 
when we passed the Straits of Dover, seven more ships 
had been blown to pieces, in each case all the crew being 
left to drown or swim as providence provided Eight 
only saw land again and of these, I note by to-night's 
papers, three are insane. 



78 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

" At midnight we were ordered to stop and a boat 
with half a dozen men came alongside and proceeded 
to the engine room. In twenty minutes they returned 
and one of ihem threw a small piece of shining metal 
into the sea. Then, with a friendly adieu, they, my 
captor and the two sailors, all left and once more I was 
in command of my own ship. As soon as the two 
destroyers had rushed away into the night, I rai^ down 
for full speed. No response being forthcoming, I sent 
a quarter-master below and presently up tore my 
engineer, bursting witii indignation. He and the four 
men with him had been securely bound by our visitors, 
who before they left had then carefully removed a small 
but essential working piece of the engines, and this it 
Was I had seen flung into the sea. However, to shorten 
my story, the loss was easily remedied, as was doubtless 
intended, and after an hour and a half of hammering 
and fiUng we were once more steaming full speed in the 
direction of Dover. We sighted no other ship and 
arrived at our destination shortly after five, greatly to 
the delight of the many friends of my belated passengers, 
who had crowded the Lord Warden and neighbouring 
Hotels through a night of terrible anxiety and suspense. 
Of one thing only am I glad, and that is that there is 
one less German cruiser for us to smash up when we get 
our fleet in working order again." 



CHAPTER XL 
In the Light of Day. 

From the " Times/' Wednesday, June Qth : — ^ 

" Germany's dastardly act. 



" A CRIME AGAINST CIVILISATION. 



"details op damage done. 



" (From our Portsmouth Correspondent) 

" The Dockyard authorities are now in a position to 
furnish certain definite information as to the damage 
done by the cowardly raid of Monday night It seems 
that all due care had been exercised and that, although 
no such action as that taken by Germany had for a 
moment been considered probable or even possible, yet 
destroyer pickets were detache'd to patrol both the 
entrances to the Solent and adjacent waters, a wise 
precaution invariably resorted to on such occasions. 
The attack came entirely as a surprise, and the ' Arun,' 
Lieut and Commander Williams (one of the River class 
of destroyer of 525 tons and 25 kts. speed) was cruising 
alone off the Nab Light; Commander Williams, who 
swam ashore subsequent to the 3inking of his ship, 
reports that he noticed the bow-waves of the oncoming 
torpedo craft and made the common signal Receiving 
no answer he jumped to the most impossible, yet, as it 
happened, correct conclusion, — ^that an enemy was about 



8o THE WAR INEVITABLE 

to make a night attack upon the fleet In three minutes 
the searchlight was glaring upon the Germans, and his 
men stood ready at the guns He had, at the first 
warning, turned his boat towards Portsmouth, but had 
not sufiident steam for a greater speed than fifteen knots. 
He was speedily overhauled and the German destroyers 
opened fire on him without delay, to which he made a 
telling reply from all the guns Uiat would bear, at the 
same time signalling danger to the Fleet But the enemy 
allowed their prey no grace and sped at over twenty-five 
knots amongst their tmprepared victims The 'Arun' 
was stmk by sheer weight of numbers, but had the satis- 
faction of seeing two of her enemies succumb to her 
well-directed fire. Of her crew of seventy only seven 
reached the shore, landing on the Isle of Wight at 
Nettlestone Point, near Sea-view. The 'Rother' was 
similarly treated at the Hurst Castle entrance, being 
beached, after a gallant fight, close to the pier at Sconce 
Point What followed is now well known to all The 
attack had evidently been carefully planned and each 
boat had been allotted a certain definite task, eadh 
commander told at which unit of our fleet he was to 
launch his torpedoes .When they had steamed nearly 
the entire length of our lines, a shrill syren sounded from 
the leading boat and the speed of all simultaneously 
dropped until they were moving at no more than ten 
knots. Arrived opposite their respective victims, the 
torpedoes were deliberately discharged and a second 
hoot, thrice repeated, sent the entire force steaming 
headlong forward again. Two or three divisions, how- 
ever, turned back to complete any work that might have 
been left undone in the first wild rush. 

** Early this morning I was down on the Parade and 
found there almost as great a crowd as on Monday 



IN THE LIGHT OF DAY 8i 

morning, alas ! under what different circumstances ! And 
melancholy in the extreme was the sight that met my 
eyes, for where yesterday had been anchored long lines 
of the finest warships ever set afloat, to-day remained 
above the water but their masts and fighting tops, — in 
some instances, it is true, the upper deck is showing, 
but in the majority of cases the depdi has been sufficient 
to immerse diem half way up their funnels. Eleven 
vessels turned over on their sides and of them no trace 
whatever appears .The havoc amongst the men is not 
commensurate with that in material ; thank God I before 
the ships sank, sufficient time elapsed to remove the 
greater part of the crews. Yet even so the roll-call ^ 
reveals terrible losses, and of the former total of over 
fifty thousand officers and men, two thousand three 
hundred and seventeen still remain to be accounted for. 
When one considers our loss in ships, the mind is 
appalled ; there is not a single unit of all that great 
assembly, excepting of course torpedo craft, that was • 
not struck by one or more torpedoes. It is useless to 
seek for consolation in view of the awful circumstances, 
yet there may be some who will derive a little from the 
knowledge that, though all our ships were torpedoed, 
sixteen were, by the superhuman efforts of their officers 
and crews, prevented from immediate foundering. 

"These ships are the 'Dreadnought,' flagship of 
Admiral Prince Louis of Battenberg, Commander-in- 
Chief of the Combined Fleet, which was struck twice, 
but both in die same compartment; she was this 
morning towed into Portsmouth with a heavy list and 
leaking badly, and has now been placed in No. 1 5 Dock, 
where repairs are already being executed. The ' Lord 
Nelson' and the Japanese battleship 'Kashima' lie 
dose to one another on the mud off Puckpool Point, 



83 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

near Ryde, and closer to Ryde pier, also on the mod, 
is the armoured cmiser 'Defence.* The 'Shannon^' a 
sister ship, and the * Duke of Edinburgh ' and ' Natal ' 
all entered the harbour under their own steam and have 
been docked in No& 12, 13 and 14; their damage is 
slight and, as in the case of the ' Dreadnought,' it is 
anticipated that a fortnight or three weeks will see them 
fit for service again. The Japanese cruiser ' Aso * has 
been placed in the North Lock and in the South Lode 
lies the ' Mars ' with, next door in the Deep dock, the 
•Prince George/ The small 'Tsushima' has been 
accommodated in No. 11, the only other dock capable of 
taking a large vessel ; even so the utmost care had to be 
exercised in docking the ' Natal ' in No. 12, which has a 
leng^ but five feet greater than that of the ship. Never 
have we felt the lack of docking facilities so much. Of 
the remaining ships that managed to keep afloat, the 
'Swiftsure' and 'Triumph* are berthed alongside the 
South Railway Jetty and already gai^ of men are 
employed in removing their stores, ammunition, eta 
The ' Drake ' is high and dry on the beach under Point 
Battery, the ' Antrim * has sunk in the tidal basin and 
her sister ship 'Roxburgh' is moored in the stream 
ofif Pridd^s Hard, she being the least harmed vessel in 
the whole fleet. A torpedo exploded against the blade 
of the starboard propeller and blew a hole in the stem 
ballast compartment, doing but very slight damage ; she 
will be docked as soon as possible and have a new 
propeller and shaft fitted, when she will at once be 
re-commissioned for active service. 

" All the other ships taking part in the Review have 
been stmk at their moorings, though it is anticipated 
that nearly all can be raised and repaired in a few 
months* time. Diving parties are already at work 



IN THE LIGHT OF DAY 83 

examining the hulls of the ships and their complete 
report is not yet to hand The following are the names 
of those vessels that turned over on their sides and for 
raising which httle hope can be entertained : — 

"Battleships: — 'Africa* (16,350 tons), 'Tango' 
(Japanese, 11,000 tons), 'RamilUes,* 'Repulse* (141350 
tons) and 'Renown' (12,350 tons). 

"Armoured Cruisers: — 'Bedford* (9,800 tons)> 
'Devonshire' (10,850 tons). 

" Protected Cruisers : — ' Spartiate * (i 1,000 tons), 
* Edgar,' * Hawke ' (7,350 tons) and * Niikata' (Japanese 
3420 tons). ^ 

"In addition our three finest armoured cruisers^ 
' Indomitable,' ' Inflexible,' and ' Invincible,' though lying 
upon an even keel, have been so extensively damaged 
that their repairs must be left until the last in view of 
our poor docking accommodation. At least three 
torpedoes exploded against each of their hulls and their 
loss is a most grievious disaster to us. 

"(Part of this appeared in our second edition of 
yesterday)." 

There followed colimms of data of each ship, which 
are of little interest here; but the leading article, a 
trenchant condemnation of Germany's dastardly deed, 
noted the ominous fact that, including the Mediterranean 
Fleet and such old stagers as the * Nile * and ' Trafalgar,* 
England had remaining but eighteen battleships all 
told; and of armoured cruisers there were no more 
than eleven, though two fine vessels were on the 
China Station. And to these forces Germany could 
oppose a fleet of twenty battleships of the first class, 
four of the second class recently modernized, and twelve 



.a 



84 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

powerful coast-defence ironclads of from 4,110 tons to 
7400 tons. In cruisers she was weak, but even so, and 
after the loss of the ' Gneisnau,' a squadron of seven, aD 
modem and well armoured, was in commission ; adding 
armoured ships of both classes together it will be seen 
that we had but twenty-nine available to forty-three for 
Germany, with age in favour of Germany. No wonder 
the people of England were scared! for they guessed 
what would most likely take place as the first act of 
the enemy after war had been declared. And so all 
men who had rifles, guns^ or revolvers sought them out 
and cleaned them, burnishing their barrels with great 
care, — and such as had no weapon hastened to buy one 
and soon the crack ! crack ! of many kinds of piece rang 
down the quiet lanes or across the broad moors of the 
British Islands. Yet gtm licenses were taken out to no 
great extent, and the law here decided to be deaf and 
blind, — ^and the private practice went cm, crack ! crack ! ! 



CHAPTER XII. 

The Avengers. 

Lieut and Commander Allan Nelson was quietly 
reading J. L. Bashford's article on the "Imperial 
German Navy'* in the 1905 edition of the "Naval 
Annual." He was more comfortably situated than most 
commanders of destroyers and his cabin had an air of 
snugness about it that belonged to few other ships 
coming in the same category, — in fact only twenty-eight 
other destroyers boasted such quarters for their dapper. 
His boat, the " Af ridi," belonged to a class known as 
" sea-going," of which the first five had been launched in 
the beginning of 1907. She displaced e^ht hundred 
tons, or nearly four times as much as early vessels of 
the type, and had moreover a not bad speed of 33 
nautical miles per hour. On trial this had been much 
exceeded in all the class and they could be depended 
upon for the designed velocity at any time, thanks to 
the installation of turbines. A junior sat opposite him, 
chiefly so that there should be someone to whom to 
address remarks. Both pulled at blackened pipes and 
sought occasional liquid comfort from tumblers at their 
elbows. 

"See, here Fitz," puflf, puff went the pipe, as the 
Commander paused to get the electric light better fixed 
for reading, " this Johnny says that ' German boats carry 
only three 1.96 in. guns * — so I spose we with our littk 
twelvers could knock holes in half a dozen at once ?" 

" What's a one-point-nine-six, Nelson ?" 

"Ignorant young beggar; fancy not knowii^ that 



86 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

Here, chuck me that Pocket Book and let's have a 
squint, — ah! here /are, six-pounders of course. 
Thanks, old man — ^but not all soda. Here's fun!" 
gurgle, gurgle, gurgle, and they both started refilling 
their pipes from a common baccy jar. 

" Big lot of us here to-night, Fitz." 

" So I saw, — ^but d/c know how many, skip ?" 

•* Well, not to a pip, exactly. Our own division starts 
oflF with ten thirty-threes " (for so they were called in 
the service) "under Fortescue. Mahon, in the 'For- 
ward' has twenty 'Rivers' of the Eastern Division, 
whilst the 'Adventure' came in yesterday with the 
* Terror,' ' Hades,' and ' Fearful,' of the thirty-six knot 
type and a score of thirty knotters. That makes, — ^let 
me seel — oh, and there are a dozen at least of the 
Reserve out, so altogether we're not far short of seventy 
taken all round." 

" Lord ! why can't we do somethin' with 'em, Nelson ?" 

" No chance now, my boy,, since brother Wilhelm's 
turned good and promised to behave, — ^Yes ! Come in," 
and a sailor entered, after knocking. 

" Captain Fortescue signals he intends leaving at six 
o'clock to-morrow, sir." 

''All right, thank you." The door slammed and 
Nelson seeing his companion yawn, said, " Come, Fitz, 
in you turn for your nap." 

This night was Monday, June 7th. 

Commander Nelson was glad when his relief came up 
and gratefully swallowed the hot cocoa that had been 
kept simmering on a small stove, before retiring for the 
rest of the night 

Rat-ta-tat-tat ! 

Commander Nelson sat up like a jack-in-the-box and 
narrowly escaped braining himself against a slanting 



i 



THE AVENGERS 87 

ventilator across his bunk; he glared angrily at the 
intruder who stood respectfully at the door. 

" What the devil do you mean by disturbing me just 
as Fm going oflf to sie^ ? Good Gad ! you deserve a 
dose of lOA, and Fm not so deuced sure you won't get 
it If you haven't got more sense, well," etc., etc., and 
for a few brief seconds he poured out the vials of his 
wrath upon the rude conf ounder of his peaceful slumbers 
in language as flowing as it was picturesque. 

"Please, sir," began the man, in a tone of meek 
humility, "it's only to tell you that Captain Mahon 
signals all commandin' orcifers to repair aboard 'im, 
himmediate.'* 

" Why the dickens couldn't you tell me that at once,'* 
fairly yelled the irate commander, as he leapt into nether 
garments, vest, hose and boots. "What's the time? 
Near two bells, d'ye say? Got some cocoa ready? Good. 
Where's my cap, — ^not that one, you blithering idiot, — 
— ^yes that's it" — ^and Lieut and Commander Nelson 
tore as a human hurricane up on deck, gulping down 
half a pint of tepid cocoa in his fl^ht through the ward- 
room. A boat awaited him and in no more than six 
minutes from the time of waking he was alongside the 
" Forward," senior ship, — first of the officers to arrive ; 
and with a loud clang there sounded two bells, or five 
o'clock ! Captain Mahon met him and, with serious face, 
bid him gobd morning ; three minutes later a small 
crowd of clean-shaven men were trooping after Captain 
Mahon towards the ward-room of the scout, the largest 
apartment in the little ship. 

" Gentlemen," he began, having carefully closed the 
door, " a great catastrophe has taken place during the 
last hour. Yesterday we were, as you know, at peace 
with all the world, and so proud of our pre-eminent 



88 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

position that we had arranged a Review upon a basis 
of magnificence never before attempted Now," he 
caught his breath as though the words choked him, 
*'we— are — at war — ^with — Germany — ^and the British 
Navy has been ahnost completely destroyed ! ! I" 

For a few moments after this awful announcement; 
the young officers looked at one another aghast, horrified 
beyond measure at the dreadful import of Captain 
Mahon's words. That he spoke the truths they did not 
for a minute doubt Nelson was the first to recover his 
presence of mind 

" And — ^how — ^was — this — ^thing— done, sir ?" he ques- 
tioned deliberately, as though weighing each word in its 
relation to the dread answer they all anticipated Capt 
Mahon told them what he knew in a few rapid sentences 
and ended up by saying: 

" And now, gentlemen, it is for us to play our part 
The enemy made for the Straits of Dover after their 
blackguard deed, and not one of them must escape, — 
you understand, not one" 

He quickly outlined a rough plan of action and having 
made sure that all comprehended exactly what he 
intended, bade them good-day and saw them off the ship. 
He noticed with a sigh of deep satisfaction that the 
day was breaking as perfect as those that had preceded 
it No cloud blotted the light blue-grey of the early 
morning sky, no wind stirred the oily waters of the 
Medway as they swirled bubbling past the lean sides of 
the vicious little scout 

At four bells in the morning watch (6.0 a.m.), a long 
line of scouts, destroyers and torpedo-boats crept silently 
out into the tide and pointed carefully north-east towards 
the well-marked Duke of Edinburgh's Channel 



THE AVENGERS 89 

They were the Avengers. 

And behind them steamed six huge protected cruisers, 
a fitting bodyguard for the mosquito fleet Once in 
the open sea, they accelerated their speed and sped 
down towards the narrows of Dover Strait Then a 
separation took place. The slower boats were sent on 
in advance and, as they pressed ahead, spre^ out fan- 
wise across the twenty miles of sea dividing England 
from France. Thirty tiiere were in this first line and the 
distance between them was less than three-quarters of a 
mile. The second line lay six miles further north and 
here were collected thirty more destroyers in groups of 
two, ten being of the speedy " Af ridi " type. Towards 
the shore at either end of these lines lay die cruisers, — 
two off Dover and two off Cape Griz Nez, and with the 
former was the "Terror," with the latter the record- 
breaking " Fearful " ; these two and the " Hades " had 
steamed upwards of forty knots on trial and mounted 
heavy batteries of 4 in. Q.F. and of 3 in. twelve-pounder 
guns. 

Captain Mahon, in the scout " Forward," took up his 
position in the middle, of the second line. 

There remained but the other two cruisers, the scout 
"Adventure," and a dozen destroyers. These had a 
special task, — to prevent any of die German toipedo- 
ciaft seeking refuge in French ports. So towards the 
south they steamed, and presentiy the early bathers at 
Boulogue were astonished to see the " Diadem," a great 
vessel of 1 1,000 tons, steam past the Plage, followed by 
three destroyers. The remaining ships were distributed 
at specified distances up the coast, — ^all except the 
"Hades," that is. 

The "Hades" set a south-westerly course and 
disappeared speedily ovter the undulating horizon. Th<^ 



90 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

trap had been prepared, — ^would the enemy walk into it ? 
Seeing all arrangements were to his liking, Capt Mahon 
signalled that he desired all hands to make a hearty 
breakfast. He knew the value of a well-lined belt in 
action and in spite of the excitement bom of expectancy, 
made a great meal himself. In the curious fleet he 
commanded, the raison (Titre of these manoeuvres had 
speedily gone the'round and right glad were the men at 
last to have a '' smack '' at the hated '' Dutchmen," as 
they would persist in calling the Germans. 

Lieut Nelson and his brother officer FitzHerbert were 
on the bridge, both feeling far too excited to spend more 
than three minutes over their dejeuner and were discuss- 
ing the coming battle in high spirits. 

** Gad I Fitz, we will give 'em a eruelling, what ?" 
" Rather, skipper — ^if the beggars will only face us, 
that is/' returned the other, in a tone of real apprehen- 
sioa The spirit of Horatio Nelson spoke there and 
easy it was to see that lack of fighting had in no wise 
quenched the* inborn ardour for battle, the birthright of 
die British sailor. It has been said '' despise not thine 
enemies,'' — but to the Briton the astonishing thing has 
always been that any man should have the courage to 
become a foe of his race. The great Nelson himself 
would never take his opponents seriously and was sadly 
affronted by their lack of initiative. Ships may come 
and ships may go, guns may change and new inventions 
be evolved, yet ever the same remain the officers and 
men serving under the White Ensign. 

Lieut Nelson looked at his watch and remarked that 
the sun was mounting higher and higher in the heavens 

*^ They are a very long time," he said, staring ahead 
towards the first line of destroyers. He did not know 



THE AVENGERS 91 

that the Germans had stopped for an hour or two to 
collect and to count their losses, also to coal from six 
accompanying colliers before sinking them ; the race for 
home would not be for laggards. There had been 
ninety of them when they started out, conveyed by two 
armoured cruisers. Now, but eighty-two remained and 
the " Gneisnau " had been destroyed by the " Euryalus/* 
as we have seen. For besides the two boats accounted 
for by the ill-fated British destroyer "Arun," the "Rother" 

had blown one to pieces and five had met disaster in 
collision or by rumiing agroimd in the wild flurry of 
escapix^. And as they lay in groups upon the calm 
water, still within sight of England, a small dark dot was 
observed rising rapidly over the western horizoa No 
sooner <xie, than two, — ^then three, — and five, — and 
eight 

The Germans had sunk the battleships and cruisers of 
the combined British and Japanese fleets but had ignored 
the torpedo-craft ! And now forty of them were in full 
pursuit, with furnaces roaring at crimson heat and 
engines throbbing with the speed of sleuth-hoimds. 
They, also, were the Avengers. 

Haste, — haste, — or they are lost to you. For a foolish 
policy had given England over thirty destroyers with 
ridiculously low speeds, gaunt, high-bowed vessels 
touching scarce twenty-five knots, — ^and their speed must 
be the speed of all the boats if piecemeal annihilation 
were to be avoided. So the Germans turned east and 
fled incontinently and, having a better speed, gained 
distance and seemed in fair way to a road of safety. 

It is the pace that kills. 

Ten ipinutes had elapsed since this great race com* 
menced, when phz — z — z ! ! great clouds of white steam 
leapt from S84, and her speed fell off to nothing. 



92 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

Bang! Bang ! ! Grhrr, — ^Bang! ! 

The British destroyers were up to her, around her, 
over her, and S84 ceased to exist Next came the turn 
of Giio; her crew spat feebly with their inferior little 
weapons as their enemy rushed in on every side. A 
vast crash of concentrated quick-firers, a vivid spurt of 
multi-coloured flame, one sullen, rending boom, — ^and 
Giio had also ceased to exist 

And thus with five ! 

And all the time they tore madly towards the cast; — 
stricken with a ghastly fear; and after them tore as 
madly the British boats, not half their number, mark you I 
but British. 

For they were the Avengers. 

Then came a greater shock. Ahead was flying the 
slow "Roon" at all her 21 knots, she having gone 
straight on and thus gained a lead of fifteen miles or so ; 
and suddenly she, too, begran firing and swimg sharply 
to starboard, altering course nearly due to the south. A 
swiftly steaming object could be described far beyond, — 
a long, low, devilish thing with smoke-belching ftmnels. 
The German officers marked her — and shuddered They 
knew the " Hades " and knew, moreover, that where she 
was, there would be collected others of her kind. The 
trap was closing already. 

Just then, two funnelled D 10 coughed and fell behind, 

— a splutter of confused firing and D 10 ceased to exist 

There was evidently no turning back, — and now they 

were bearing north into the very jaws of the Strait 

The " Roon " held on south and seemed likely to clear 

away completely, — ^a smudge of smoke over the horizon 

ahead brought the hearts of her officers into their 

mouths. 

The smudjg;e grew, — ^then came another, and both took 

shape. 



THE AVENGERS 93 

In fifteen minutes the " Diadem " and " Terrible " were 
bearing down upon the benighted German, and with 
them three destroyers. They had no armoured sides, — 
but they had Britons behind the guns, Britons sworn to 
avenge. On each side of her they ranged up ; no fancy 
distances, be it known, but, at inside two thousand yards^ 
a hail of steelen shells presently burst as meteors on the 
smaller ship. 

She fought bravely, — ^but what could that avail ? At 
the first discharge a 380 pound shell whizzed irresistibly 
into her vitals, and the f oreward turret lay jammed and 
Kstless as the smaller projectiles burst at its base. There 
was to be no surrender, — indeed, it might not have been 
accepted. At all events, in a far shorter space of time 
than it has taken to recount, the " Roon " had had her 
teeth drawn, even to the Uttle spitting Maxims ; past her 
motionless bulk steamed the two British cruisers, on 
opposite sides and on opposite courses. 

Three torpedoes were discharged and two took effect, 
— under either beam at the third funnel. Shattered and 
rent, gasping and torn, the " Roon *' rose boldly by the 
centre, groaned, spewed fearsome gerbs of boiling steam 
and water, groaned again and disappeared. The 
" Powerful ** lowered four boats into the calm sea, but 
they returned empty from their search. The German 
Navy had yet to realise that at two thousand yards, ten 
shots from a British 6 in. gtm fired in one minute mean 
ten palpable hits in vulnerable parts. Having com- 
pleted the business (" so much for that little job," said her 
men) the cruisers and their attendant destroyers turned 
north, and as they steamed the sound of heavy firing 
came down to them ; the rats had entered the trap and 
were feeUng worried! 

Three rushing forms cut silently towards them. 



94 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

sighted them and turned west Like hounds from a 
leash, their three accompan)ang British destroyers sped 
away in swift pursuit steaming, in that cahn sea, every 
bit of their thirty knots. 

They returned in the course of the day, each with 
marks of combat, each with dead and wounded, — ^yet 
each with a tale of conquest But how fared it in the 
Straits of Dover? There is little enough to telL 
Reduced to well below fourscore, the Germans had, from 
the commencement, endeavoured rather to escape than 
fight, — and dashed headlong at their relentless foe. The 
first British line met them, steaming slowly, and pouring 
in a telling fire, striving rather to injure and hamper than 
to destroy. This part was left to the second line ; and 
right well they did their work, too. 

Lieut Nelson stood on the bridge anrf watched the 
charge in tense expectation. At the guns stood his men, 
and they, too, watched. The rush had seemed swarm- 
like, — a black mass bearing down upon the closing in 
British destroyers. But the British vessels had thrice 
the weight of metal, though many less in number of 
boats ; hence, when the rival forces disengs^ed, it was 
seen that the Germans had thinned out very consider- 
ably. Lieutenant Nelson rang down for full speed and 
sent his gallant craft dashing to meet a group of four. 

They withstood his attack and put up quite a fight and 
their determination aimoyed him. A word to the man 
at the helm and the " Af ridi " twisted nearly in her own 
length and shore, rasping across a German foe. 

Crash ! Grate ! Brazz, Ping ! Crash ! ! 

Out again and with a nasty twist in the bows. But 
three more of the enemy had passed into history and the 
fourth was waiting for the final touch. She was a large 
vessel of the newest type from Sdiichau's Yard. 



THE AVENGERS 95 

"Try that shallow-set torpedo, Haines," said Lieut 
Nelson, laconically, — " It will give the b^gar a run even 
if we miss. Set it to float, see/' 

" Yes sir," and he went about the job, the German, 
being disabled, having perforce to wait 

The aim was splendid, though of course a miss at that 
range was almost out of the question. S 136 went sky- 
high and splash !, splash ! came the bits of her ; some 
were unpleasant, too, hmnan and gruesome. An arm 
sKd across the deck at Nelson's feet and FitzHerbert was 
promptly sick. A seaman picked it up and taking it by 
tibe hand flung it at a pal. 

"Ere /are, mate, 'eres a Dutchman come to shake 
'ands long o' you !" 

** Chuck that into the sea, you swipe." Lieut Nelson 
looked a lot more as he said this, and for three days that 
particular sailor avoided him. 

Not one German boat escaped, no man of their crews 
lived to tell the story. When the British torpedo-craft 
had again collected off Sheemess, it became possible to 
count the losses. The " Thrasher," " Bat," " Panther " 
and " Violet " were missing of the older boats. Of the 
550 ton class, the " Blackwater,' "Foyle" and "Nith" 
were not present; the "Crusader" and "Nubian," 
sisters to the " Afridi " had also been sunk, — and that 
was all. To the four score and ten of the enemy, 
England had suffered a loss of but nine ! 

They had, indeed, been the Avengers. 

And the folks in Germany waited, and waited, and 
waited. But not so much as a sign was vouchsafed 
them of the disaster that had befallen their f ellow- 
coimtrymen. But time told its own tale and soon the 
German people realised that having asked for war they 
should have war, — ^and bloody at that 



96 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

And even then the Ministers of the two countries had 
not left! So suddenly and dramatically had hostilities 
commenced that for some days it was not generally 
recognised that two great Powers were at hand-grips one 
with the other. 

< 

Yet down in the country, in fields and on hills, men, — 
stem, silent men, — practised steadily with rifle and 
revolver. 

Crack! Crack! ! 

It was ** Bushido/' — ^the Spirit of Patriotism. 



CHAPTER XIII. 
England Prepares. 

•* We, by the Grax:e of Heaven, Edward VII, King of 
England and the British Empire, Emperor of India, 
seated on the Throne occupied by our fore-fathers 
through all ages, do hereby make proclamation to all 
our loyzl and brave subjects as follows : — 

" We hereby declare war against the German Empire, 
and we command our navy and army to carry on 
hostilities against her in obedience to duty and with all 
their strength, and we also command all our competent 
authorities to make every effort in pursuance of their 
duties and in accordance with their powers to attain the 
national aim, with all the means within the limits of the 
law of nations. 

" We have always deemed it essential to international 
relations and made it our constant aim to pacific progress 
of our Empire in civilization, to strengthen our friendly 
ties with other states, and to establish a state of things 
which would maintain enduring peace in the entire 
world, and assure the future security of our Dominions 
without injury to the rights and interests of the other 
powers. 

Our competent authorities have also performed their 
duties in obedience to our will, so that our relations with 
all Powers have been steadily growing in cordiality. 

" It was thus entirely against our expectation or desire 
fliat we have unhappily come to open hostilities against 
Germany. The safety of our Empire has, by a dastardly 
action, been jeopardised and the interests thereof 
menaced. g 



98 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

''It is cur earnest wish that by the loyalty and 
courage of our faithful subjects peace may shortly be 
permanently restored and the glory of our Empire 
preserved 

Given under our hand, this 9th day of June, 19 — ." 

EDOUARD REX. 
Buckingham Palace. 

In this manner did our King declare war upon the 
enemies of our beloved country and never before has 
such enthusiasm reigned as when the above rescript was 
read from the steps of the Royal Exchange. 

At the Admiralty, importunate journalists badgered the 
officials for information — and ob^ined none. The news 
sheets sold in their millions and paper makers reaped a 
golden harvest, recalling yet exceeding the boom in that 
particular trade durit^ the South African campaign. At 
the War Office chaos held regal sway and somnolent 
permanent officials were racking their brains to discover 
what they had been employed to do. They were soon 
told; Lord Kitchener chanced, by the best of good 
fortune, to be home on furlot^h and on Wednesday 
morning he received a hasty summons to wait upon the 
King at the Palace. He was not kept kicking his heeb 
long, for in less than two minutes he was ushered into 
the august presence. 

"Lord Kitchener, we have reached a crisis in the 
history of our Empire which unless skilfully handled may 
bring about our downfall I hear that a huge fleet of 
transports is steaming down Channel escorted by the 
whole German Fleet, and we may take it that a landing 
will pretty easily be effected on our coasts, for without 
our fleet it would be difficult to prevent I am also told 
that thiiigs are not as they should be at the War Office. 



ENGLAND PREPARES 99 

On my own initiative I have sent for you,— will you 
accept the appointment of the Generalissimo?'* 

The General drew himself up proudly and repHed, 
" Your wish, Sire, is my pleasure/* 

The ICing held out his hand impulsively and clutched 
that of the great bronzed soldier before Um. 

"A thousand thanks, Kitchener; you have greatly 
relieved my mind. One more word and it is this, — ^you 
are invested with absolute authority at the War-Office, 
but until the enemy is driven from the land you are not 
to take the field yourself. I want your brain to control 
affairs from head-quarters. Good-bye and Heaven be 
with you in your mission.'* 

"I will do my best, Sire, and may God make me worthy 
of your Majesty's confidence." 

As the stalwart form left the room, King Edward gave 
a long drawn sigh of infinite relief, and for the first time 
since the awful Monday night, the tense, worn look <m 
his face relaxed. 

"With that man we may yet pull through," he 
muttered, and rose to greet his greatest Admiral, Sir 
John Angler. 

" Pretty awful this, Sir John ?" he said as he shook 
hands ; long years of acquaintanceship had warmed his 
heart towards this brown faced, grey-haired sailor, and 
he knew full well the love he bore his country and his 
devotion to his King. 

" Bad, yes Sire, but it might well have been worse ; 
why if they give us time we shall have 'em all afloat 
again and fit as ever for giving and takic^ hard knodak 
Besides the skunks didn't get off scot free, either." 

•"Whafs that. Angler?" 

** Has your Majesty not been told of the manner of 
our revenge ?" cried the Admiral in astonished tones. 



100 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

" Not a word, my friend, not a word TcU me the 
news^ for believe me, I can do with a little cheering up." 

" Well, Sire, to be brief, although they may have sunk 
a considerable proportion of oiu: Navy not a single man 
lived to boast the deed On their way over they met the 
"Euryalus" and sank her, but she took the cruiser 
" Gneisnau " down with her. The rest were trapped in 
the Straits of Dover on the return journey; about 
seventy boats out of Chatham and Sheemess lay across 
the Straits and another forty chased 'em up from Ports- 
mouth. They had not the ghost of a chance, your 
Majesty, and were destroyed to a man ; the " Roon," the 
second armoured cruiser, was blown to pieces by two of 
our protected ships." 

"Wonderful! wonderful!" ejaculated the King, his 
wan face wreathed in smiles as Sir John's story 
proceeded, " may the Lord prosper onr cause, for it is a 
just one. And what plans have you and your folks 
evolved for the future ?" 

"We have cabled Admiral Scott to bring the 
Mediterranean Fleet up North and at once engage the 
German Fleet which has put to sea as escort to the 
transports." 

But the German Fleet is over three times as numerous 
and at least twice as strong, my dear friend. Surely 
you are taking a big risk in thus hazarding the remainder 
of our fleet ? they will assuredly be destroyed" 

" They will be destroyed, I expect," was the startling 
reply, "but not before they have done tremendous 
dsunage to the enemy, sire. We must remember that 
until we can reduce the German Navy somewhat it will 
be useless to &t up a force in our own ports. They would 
merely annihilate each squadron singly as it went out; 
if I may refer to the Russo-Japanese conflict, it was often 



ENGLAND PREPARES loi 

said prior to the fall of Port Arthur that had the Russian 
fleet at that port been launched head-long at the 
Japanese, they must have sunk some of our Ally's ships 
even if they had themselves all been destroyed With 
their forces thus reduced the Battle of Tsushima might 
have had a very different ending for the Japanese. We 
therefore propose doing all the harm we can with our 
available ships, in the hopes of so crippling the German 
forces that our reserves from Portsmouth, now hastily 
being repaired will find their complete destruction a 
matter of little difficulty." 

"Admirable, Sir John, but it is taking tremendous 
risk." 

"Yes, Sire, but without tremendous risks nothing 
great has ever been accomplished. We are not going 
to fail, Sire, though the consummation of our hopes may 
be somewhat tardy in reaUsatioa" 

" And in the meantime, Admiral?" 

" In the meantime we are co-operating with the War 
Office in a plan of first resistance which will allow us to 
formulate our more ambitious projects, the details of 
which require very careful invest^ation and study. One 
thing is essential, namely to make Portsmouth immune 
from capture by land. To this end many thousand men 
are already at work and thousands more are on their way 
to the Hampshire Downs and within a fortnight or three 
weeks we shall have completed a ring of fortifications 
rivalling those even of Port Arthur. Your soldiers, 
Sire, have not been wasting their time in recent years 
and it is but the finishing touch we are giving." 

After a few more words the bluflf old Admiral also 
bowed himself out and King Edward, hearing a sound of 
childish voices, went to the door. The two youngest 



102 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

diildren of his eldest son were without, strayed from 
their go vemess ; the King called them and in their merry 
prattle soon f oi^t his worries Ah ! no wonder the Kix^ 
was beloved, nay, almost worshiped by his people ; he 
was a King and yet so much a man. 






CHAPTER XIV. 
It's a Way they have in the Navy. 

Admiral Sir Percy Scott was strangely happy on 
Tuesday morning. A long cable had reached him at 
Gibraltar, (where, by good fortune, he lay with the bulk 
of his fleet), telling him of the fearful catastrophy of the 
night before that had robbed his -native land of the 
entire Navy, — ^with the exception of the ships tmder his 
command Of course he should have had little cause 
for elation, but then — ^he was Admiral Sir Percy Scott ; 
and that meant much. The cable had told him that he 
alone lay between England and invasion and that he was 
to steam forthwith north, meet the German Fleet and 
do his best to destroy it Now the Admiral had had a 
fad (his friends called it '' a bee in his bonnet ") ever 
since he had been in the service. He held that no gun 
should ever be fired unless the man behind it was certain 
of hitting that at which he had aimed. 

A little second-class cruiser, the "Sc^Ua" had once 
handsomely beaten every previous record for prize- 
firing, — and the papers noted that she was commanded 
by a Captain Percy Scott In 1902 Rear- Admiral 
Grenfell, in a " Report of Inspection '' upon the great 
cruiser ** Terrible " stated " For the last two years the 
• Terrible's ' heavy Gun Prize Firing for all natures of 
guns has been by far the best of any ship in the 
Service" — and the papers noted that she was 
commanded by Captain Percy Scott About three years 
later a new post was created at the Admiralty, the 
Inspector of Gunnery ; and the papers noted that the 



I04 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

first man to hold this important position was Rear 
Admiral Percy Scott Then came a vacancy in the 
Mediterranean Fleet, already the premier shooting force 
in the Empire, and the man to be appointed to this 
important position was Vice-Admiral Sir Percy Scott 
What if jealous people did call him a " crank " ? he did 
not care. What if they jeered at his waste of ammuni- 
tion? he knew that every charge ignited had sent a 
projectile clean through a target What if his subordin- 
ates did complain of overwork ? they were at least part 
and parcel of the most efficient naval force ever known. 

And so Admiral Scott was elated at the idea of at last 
putting all his theories to the stem test of war. He 
knew it would mean practical annihilation, but he fancied 
he would be able to prove that even in these days of 
machinery the human element was still the most 
important factor. So he stunmoned his three junior 
Admirals and all the captains of the ships in his 
commcind and shortly laid the position before them. Not 
too much talk, but just enough to make them prouder 
than ever of their Chief. 

At mid-day the squadron weighed and very imposing 
it looked too though, alas, far too small in regard to 
numbers. There were twelve first-class battleships in 
two columns of line ahead disposed to port, great ships 
eight of them, displacing all fifteen thousand tons ; the 
other four had been built for China waters, and though 
well armed and speedy, were somewhat insufficiently 
protected. And with him were seven large armoured 
cruisers, high-bowed, speedy ships but, with the excep- 
tion of the " Leviathan," carrying no gun larger than the 
obsolete six inch. West they steamed and soon had 
cleared the Straits ; then north they steamed, and fifteen 
knots was their speed, for they had over twelve htmdred 
miles to cover ere they met the enemy. 



IT'S A WAY THEY HAVE IN THE NAVY 105 

It was no surprise to the good folks of Worthing to 
see a great fleet appear over the horizon on Wednesday 
morning, — ^, fleet of at least two hundred vessels of all 
descriptions. The morning papers had led them to 
expect a landing somewhere in the vicinity, and so ample 
preparations had been made to give the invaders a warm 
and fitting receptioa It is not proposed here to deal 
with that reception, — it is deserving of a more extensive 
notice later on; but let it be said that the first few 
hundred Germans to touch British soil did so at none of 
their own bidding. They were washed ashore, sucked 
back again by the retreating surges and once more cast 
high on the shingly beach, — dead! The good folk of 
Worthing were not to be called upon without so much 
as a visiting card and right well had they run keen eyes 
along glistening barrels and with steady fore-finger 
pulled the deadly trigger. No bad shots were they in 
those early days even and few houses remained intact in 
Worthing before a landing could be effected ; for shell 
on shell had been sent hurtling against the pretty 
watering-place. Crash followed crash, and bang 
followed bang, — ^here they burst and there they burst, 
dealing out death and anguish with a generous speed. 
It could not last for ever and on Thursday morning all 
resistance had been crushed and the bravei defenders 
driven inland there again to await the coming of the foe. 

As soon as the last rifle shot had ceased, the work of 
debarkation began. First had come a small landii^ 
party of marines, speaking volubly in their guttural 
tongue ; with fixed bayonets they ran down this street 
and thaf and found — ^no-one. But they did receive one 
or two httle surprises. Where the drains crossed the 
roads, large charges of explosives had been hidden and 
so left that the tramping feet above would of a certainty 



io6 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

fire them ; nearly four hundred men were thus flung into 
eternity! 

By nightfall the town had been occupied and the 
landing was in full swing beneath the glare c^ a dozen 
searchlights. Boatload after boatload, the uniformed 
Teutons were towed to the beach, where they climbed 
out, formed up and.were promptly marched away to an 
allotted place. There was no worry, no hurry, no 
trouble ; the matter had been worked out to the utmost 
nicety before hand and the directions allowed of no 
error in execution. 

One thing, however, had not been allowed for, — the 
courage of a single man. The brain of Germany's 
operations had known fuU well the menace of the 
Mediterranean Fleet, but had counted its units and com- 
pared the total to the German Navy with a certain smug 
satisfaction. " No,'' they had said, ** the British may be 
brave, — but they are not foolhardy ; and to attack our 
fleet with their own would virtually amount to suicide.'^ 

And so Admiral Sir Percy Scott was left out of their 
calculation for a time. 

There were one hundred and thirty transports with 
the fleet, large, slow craft but possessing enormous 
capacity. Every arm they carried, infantry, artillery 
and cavaby and the aggregate could not have been far 
short of one hundred and eighty thousand men. Round 
about this swarm of troop-ships lay the war-vessels, 
twenty-four huge battleships, haJf-a-dozen coast defence 
ships, three armoured cruisers and a good two score of 
smaller protected vessels and torpedo gimboats; a 
veritable Armada, strong at Bsxy time but more than 
strong now that the British Fleet had to all intents and [. 

purposes disappeared. Bu)sily they worked and well» for (i 

it seemed that every move had been closely studied ; ' 



ITS A WAY THEY HAVE IN THE NAVY 107 

the rate of landing was astonishing, the average being 
at least three thousand men, all found and with necessary 
stoies, per hour. Horses were quickly transhipped to 
flat-bottomed barges brought across for that especial 
purpose, guns were swung out and cases of ammunition 
loaded many- feet high. All Thursday, all Thursday 
night, all Friday — ^no cessation, no stopping. To this ' 
day that landing remains a feat of generalship never 
equalled even by the Japanese. The chief officers 
were getting tired and looked with pleasure to the 
morrow, for they knew that by the Sabbath the whole 
force would have been placed on land. It was a colossal 
task, starting to land nearly two hundred thousand men ' 
on a Thursday morning and finishing before midday on 
Saturday I Yet it would have been done well within that 
time, if — ever the dreadful if . 

And this " if " was Admiral Sir Percy Scott 

On the journey north the grey leviathans of Britain 
had undergone certain noticeable changes. Their masts 
seemed short out of all proportion, their side-rails had 
been swung inboard; the engineers and indeed, all 
between decks complained of the stifling heat, — the 
ventilators and cowls had been unshipped and stowed 
away. Great coils of rope were festooned around the 
top-most bar of all the bridges, the boats had become 
very many less, wood had ceased to exist (except for 
the decks), and comfort, to put it shortly, had been 
reduced to a minimum. 

They were going into action stripped. 

The Germans were at the highest pressure as darkness 
fell and the great white beams of the search-lights shone 
full on moving boats and snorting launches. Towards 
the sea a cordon of small cruisers steamed in endless 
beat from east to west and many there were who thot:^ht 



io8 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

tbeir work a waste, ju(%ing the British Eon to be cowed 
past all idea of organised resistance. Even the skippers 
of these small craft paid greater heed to all the bustle 
land-ward, than to the dark drear blackness of the 
southern horizon ; for what danger had they to antici- 
pate? At the most some torpedo craft, but that was 
unlikely, for though 'twas true these latter had wiped out 
nearly one hundred of Germany's mosquito fleet scarce 
a one had gone back without a taste of a Krupp shell 
somewhere in her thin hull, and Krupp shell bite hard 
where they strike. Thus, lulled into a false sense of 
security, a none too keen watch was kept 

The clear skies had during two days become overcast 
and threatening and old sailors prophesied a storm in 
the near future of imusual severity. The gentle calm 
had not yet been broken and the air, hot and soft, held 
little of the pleasant briny freshness. Yet overhead 
sombre clouds banked up on every side, glowering 
around the firmament as some wild beast preparii^ for 
a terrible spring. Though so early in summer the night 
camie down black and gloomy, the darkness thrown out 
in greater relief by the dazzling brilliance of the search- 
lights. On the beach, hustle and scurry ; on the sea, — 
quiet. 

Boom! 

A snarling roar split the soft night with painful 
violence ; a smart, cutting whistle smote cruelly on the 
ear. 

Crash ! ! 

Something struck the " Deutschland " fair at the base 
of her second funnel and exploded, spreading into a vast 
star of irridescent white flame. The whole ship seemed 
for a moment to be blotted out but soon the whiteness 
faded and there she lay as before — ^but a difiFerent 



ITS A WAY THEY HAVE IN THE NAVY 109 

** Deutschland," an altered " Deutschland," a shattered 
*' Deutschland" Whexe three smoke-stacks had once 
stood there showed a gaping hole, and steam roared 
hell-hke from the stricken vitals. Eight hundred and 
fifty potmds had that one shell weighed and eight 
hundred and fifty thousand pounds worth of damage 
had it done, for the " Deutschland " would never steam 
again. 

Ah ! how do you like the taste of that, Germany ? 
" Only a sighting shot," pleaded the yotmg officer who 
had thus rudely called the attention of our foes to an 
awful danger at least fifty seconds before the Admiral 
had intended fire should be opened. 

" And a d d good shot too," muttered the navigat- 
ing lieutenant behind his hand, as the yotmgster stepped 
down from the bridge and hurried back to his post, 
hoping he might arrive before the now flying shells took 
it into their steelen heads to burst somewhere near him. 

Two score German searchlights swimg smoothly sea- 
wards and a vast pandemonium of clanking chains rung 
harshly amidst the prevailing din. The Germans were 
slipping their cables, — ^for an anchored ship cannot fight 
Steam they had, of course, and in ten minutes the huge 
Teuton fleet ploughed slowly to the south to meet their 
daring foe. But during that ten minutes of inaction, 
much had happened. 

The " Deutschland " for one, lay motionless, though 
firing an occasional gun when such chanced to bear. 
The "Siegfried," a coast defence vessel of over four 
thousand tons, had been pierced by a great projectile 
near the stem and turned straightway into the towering 
" Schleswig-Holstein," crashing with irresistible force 
through armour and side. A searchlight picked them up 
locked thus together and in a moment a perfect hail of 



1 10 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

shot and shell alighted on and around the iU-f ated ships. 
Already torn and shattered from upper-deck to keel, tiie 
twain dramatically fell apart; wallowed in the gentle 
swell for a short space and sank sizzling beneath the 
water. 

The rest made an offing and with a good sea-room 
formed up to fight, — ^f or numbers and strength were on 
their side. Yet as they ploughed towards their relent- 
less enemy, the German Admiral noticed that these 
turned about and fled south, firing continually with their 
stem gups. 

Bang! came the report, and crash! came the shell,*— 
for Admiral Sir Percy Scott was proving that if he were 
mad, his madness had a nasty method, at all events. 
Farther steamed the British Fleet out to sea, farther and 
farther stiU and ever after them came the ponderous 
Grerman ships, three to their one, — ^for in the British line 
were twelve in all, — of the armoured cruisers never a 
trace was seen. 

Well they fought on both sides, but the British craft 
had a percentage of hits higher by double than their 
enemies, — ^but there could be but one ending to a contest 
so unequal. Fifteen times did Admiral Scott cross the 
German lines and pour in concentrated broadsides upon 
the leading f oemen, until at last his speed forebade him 
more and he turned and awaited their coming, prepared 
to sell his life as dearly as he could But he had already 
played his part well, better by far than the most sanguine 
would have expected of him with a force so inferior in 
point of numbers. 

The gallant "Ocean'' had disappeared, and the 
''Prince of Wales" was in a sinking condition. He 
knew not that the enemy had already lost no less than 
four of their battleships and one coast defence vessel, — 



ITS A WAY THEY HAVE IN THE NA\^ 1 1 1 

and cared less; what he did know was that he so 
impartially distributed his favours that none of the 
Germans would fight again before passing through 
Dockyzurd hands for a thorough over-haul. 

And so, having drawn the opposing force over one 
hundred miles south-west of Worthing, he awaited them 
with a calm spirit The dawn was just breaking and 
the light gave his gunners the very chance they so 
desired, for the enemy's ships stood out gaunt and grey 
against the brightening dawn. 

At two thousand five hundred yards the combined 
broadsides crashed out together and the last phase had 
begun. The ten British ships stood up gallantly to the 
twenty of the Germans and gave never a cable as they 
steamed coltimn to column, firing desperately. 

Admiral Scott was on the remnant of his bridge and 
gazed joyfully towards the enemy, — ^the " Lothringen " 
and "Kaiser Wilhelm II." had dropped out of Hne, 
sinking. The thunderous roar was the sweetest music 
to him and it cheered him to note that his line was as 
yet unbroken. Then of a sudden the " Bulwark " turned 
to port, staggered and disappeared. But at the same 
moment a huge doud of steam burst screaming from tba 
" Mecklingburg " and before five could be counted the 
"Wettin" drove grinding into her balconied stem,— 
and immediately after the " Kaiser Karl der Grosse " was 
seen to be in difficulties ; she left the line and in five 
minutes blew up with a deafening roar. 

The Germans had now lost nine ships to the British 
three, — ^yet still they had fifteen to our nine. 

As the sun rose gently behind the heavy clouds the 
Admiral, clii^^iog wearily to ft stanchion, pondered 
whether it would not be wise to cry, "Halt! it is 
enough." Daylight showed how fearful had been the 



1 1 2 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

effects of the long action^ — funnels pierced and shorn, 
masts gone by the board hanging by mere threads of 
steel The " Irresistible " had a dangerous cant to port 
and started away towards the German line. She could 
not float for long, so her captain had decided to get as 
dose as possible and do all the damage he could before 
his vessel sank. Straight on he steamed, the heel be- 
coming ever greater, and as he went the Germans edged 
away, forming a crescent where once had been a column. 

Something rasped somewhere, — a penetrating ear- 
splitting rasp ; a shell had pierced to a German engine- 
room and left a ship devoid of motive power. It was 
the " Brandenburg " of 10,060 tons and her way dropped 
and dropped. 

The English captain noticed and decided, — so the 
straining watchers, still firing but not so fiercely, saw 
the doomed " Irresistible " turn a little to port and slowly 
creep out towards the now motionless " Brandenburg " 
— ^nearer, nearer, nearer. The speed had fallen to five or 
six knots, for the waters had reached the furnaces. At 
three miles an hour they collided. For eighty seconds 
they hung, fixed at right-angles one with the other; 
then the " Irresistible " went of a sudden down by the 
stem, and as the bow rose the great ram ripped a vast 
gash in the stricken German ship. 

And they sank together. 

But a remarkable thing happened just then, a string 
of bunting broke out from an unshattered yard of the 
Teuton flagship " Hannover " and the whole force swung 
around and steamed off east Admiral Sir Percy Scott 
had thoughts of pursuit, — ^then looked about him to see 
what he still had capable of steaming at any decent 
speed The "Vengeance" was just capsizing as he 
scanned his squadron and the " London " and " Implac- 



ITS A WAY THEY HAVE IN THE NAVY 113 

able" were both in a most precarious condition, the 
one heeling terribly to starboard and the other sub- 
merged a deck by the head 

So he signalled a westerly course and steamed 
gingerly for Plymouth, the nearest naval port At eight 
knots he moved with all his remaining ships and eagerly 
peered astern, — ^for he expected his armoured cruisers 
to come up soon and he wished to hear whether their 
mission had been successful. 

Worn out with long watching and anxiety, the Admiral 
at last went below and lay down for a few hours' well- 
earned repose. At midday an officer called him and 
reported four of the cruiser squadron coming up rapidly 
astern. He hastily bathed, — ^and never had sea water 
felt so delicious, so refreshing — then mounted on deck 
and was astonished to see how much had been done to 
remove the traces of battle during the short time he had 
been asleep. Also, he noted that but five vessels were 
with him now ; and the sad story was told of how the 
"London" had turned turtle at midday quite unex- 
pectedly and how, owing to the rough sea, the " Implac- 
able " had been itiaking water so badly that her captain 
had deemed it judicious to run for land and, if possible, 
beach her in shallow water. The sea was rising before 
a fresh breeze and he ordered speed to be increased to 
fourteen knots and was gratified to find all his ships still 
capable of maintaining as much as that. At 4.30 in the 
afternoon, the Eddystone Lighthouse hove in sight and 
by six o'clock his sadly reduced force was moving slowly 
past Drake's Island towards the Dockyard, — and from 
the Hoe and Devil's Point countless thousands yelled a 
welcome to him and his brave men. But Admiral Sir 
Percy Scott did not know yet whether he had been 
successful or had failed. The armoured cruisers held 



1 14 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

that secret, — ^though it was no secret to the people on 
shore, — ^and the Admiral tarried not until he had reached 
the cabin of his friend the Rear- Admiral of the Third 
Cruiser Squadron and from his own lips heard the story 
of Germany's first great set-back. 



7^ 



CHAPTER XV. 
What happened at Worthing. 

It is a strange fact that in all works of fiction dealing 
with future wars, and in which an invasion of these Isles 
is attempted, the rising town of Worthing is almost 
invariably chosen for the hostile landing. Be that as it 
may, in this instance the fiction became a stem reality 
and startled the towns-folk mightily, for two hundred 
ships make a brave display, especially when it is known 
that the navy upon wtdch their destruction should have 
depended lay deep in the Solent mud. Yet though 
startled. Worthing was not siirprised — common sense 
had for two days been empt3dng the town of its women- 
folk and children, and there remained but the men. 

A certain veteran soldier, affectionately known as 
'* Bobs," had once suggested public rifle ranges for the 
people — small indoor rifle ranges of one to two hundred 
feet in length, and his idea had been eagerly followed up ^ 
by patriotic financiers. In a few years scarce a town of 
any size was without its miniature rifle range, some 
having two, some four and even more. Here, night 
after night, came men of every station and with Morris 
Tubes mounted steadily from a succession of palpable 
misses to a long run of "bulls" and "inners." The 
system bred a national enthusiasm, and inter-town com- "^ 
petition gave birth to a healthy rivalry that did far to , 
advance the cause advocated by Lord Roberts of 
Kandahar. Soon a serviceable rifle was put on the 
market at a ridiculously low figure and in thousands 
these ^ere bought up ; for just as formerly every man 



1 16 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

must have his own tin-cased billiard cue, now it was 
de rigueur to possess your own rifle. Fitted with 
Morris Tubes they served for practice — ^without the 
tubes they served for war. 

Now Worthing had three ranges, and had come well 
to the fore in the last two years havii^ handsomely 
beaten Southsea (the "crack" team of the Southern 
Counties) and carried ofiF a much coveted shield. So 
when dread war burst of a sudden upon an astonished 
people, they displayed a business-like desire to get to 
work at the enemy, and even the few to whom national 
defence had never been but a phrase bought rifles, guns 
and revolvers and sought instruction from the nearest 
neighbours. 

And during the two days of grace allowed them, the 
Worthing towns-men made preparation for the coming 
foe. Flag-stones were raised from the esplanade and 
balanced tightly against the metal railings, whilst five 
feet of earth was piled up behind this novel defence. 
Slots were left for rifles and all that could be done, was 
done. A smart general-officer came down from the 
head-quarters and felt gratified that he should have been 
chosen to command so fine a set of men. But he saw 
the weakness of the position and hurried off several 
thousand men to dig pits and trenches upon the Downs 
surrounding the town — and in front of these had placed 
great net works of barbed wire. He saw visions of 
defense h la Russe^ but wished to go one better. 

On Wednesday, the gth, at lo a.m., vast clouds of 
smoke were seen on the horizon by the anxious watchers 
and soon the forest of alien masts was clearly and 
distinctly noticed steering directly for the land At 
eleven the northern battle-ships cast anchor, allowing the 
transports to steam in past them as near as they could 



WHAT HAPPENED AT WORTHING 117 

to the land. Through their glasses the German officers 
saw numbers of people parading the streets as though 
nothing exceptional were taking place, whilst bare-armed 
workmen dug slowly behind the raised flagstones in full 
view of the enemy. 

" Ach ! they are cool, these English. They take no 
notice of us, and as usual are repairing their roads!" so 
^d one Teuton lieutenant as he snapped his glasses 
into their case. 

_ The General in command of the Worthing men was 
no fool; he desired to allay all suspicion — and well he 
succeeded. Without delay the Germans set about their 
debarkation, intending to utilise the whole length of the 
beach and about two miles on either side for the opera- 
tion. But there were twenty thousand Englishmen to 
be reckoned with first, and though but two thousand of 
these wore His Majesty's uniform, they all carried a 
trusty rifle and one hundred ball-cartridges. In one 
particular, too, every man resembled Admiral Sir Percy 
Scott — they objected to pulling a trigger without hitting 
something in return. 

At midday a salvo of shells was sent tearing and 
crashing through the hotels and villas facing the sea, 
one great projectile taking a span out of the pier, as a 
warning doubtless, of what would be meted out to the 
luckless town in the event of resistance. A searching 
fire was also directed against the esplanade and all 
sheltered positions on either side of it. Several breaches 
were made, — ^but not a man was injured, for they all lay 
bid in bomb proof pits covered over with paving-stones. 
After this preliminary, a huge concourse of boats, laden 
with men and guns, put off from the great fleet of 
transports and, towed by launches, rapidly approached 
the shore. 



1 1 8 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

The word passed down the line^ " Wait till they land, 
then three volleys, fix bayonets and charge !" 

"Better than selling calico by the foot, Jim!'' mur- 
mured a cheery young draper's assistant, as he flicked a 
speck of dust off his back-sight with a gaudy handker- 
chief. 

" Oh, cheese it, Willie," returned the other, somewhat 
anxious with prolonged waiting, '' what you'll want will 
be lint, by the yard" 

" Silence there," hissed an ofiicer, as a harsh grating 
sounded from above — ^then, 

" Up to your places, fixed sights, aim low and fire at 
the word" 

About a thousand Germans had leapt ashore and were 
pulling their heavy boats up the beach to disembark 
the guns and ammunition. At short intervals squads 
were forming up to rush the beach and kill any defender 
behind the esplanade. Perhaps eighty seconds elapsed 
between the touching of the boats and the charge of the 
men up the slippery shingle. A long line of rifles shot 
cut from the barricade of paving stones and the German 
ofiicers, waving high their swords, shouted loudly — 

« Vorwarts ! !" 

Three steps had they gone, when all down the English 
Ene came the one word, 

Tire!!" 

An unbroken series of flashes shot out and the 
advancing enemy staggered in their stride. Again the 
dread order, and this time the attackers halted — ^they 
could not face the awful wall of death. A third com- 
mand, and turning they bolted back to the boats. But 
not in time — a fiendish howl of delight rose from behind 
them and down upon their backs tore a wild crowd of 



WHAT HAPPENED AT WORTHING 119 

Englishmen, with rifles hipped and bayonets tightly 
fixed 

Hurrah ! they yelled, a mad blood-curdling hurrah ! 

Now they are into them, stabbing and fending — aye ! 
and over them, into the boats themselves. Two great 
swings and over went one boat, then another, and 
Maxims and field-pieces lay all manner of wa)^ upset 
in the shallow water. 

Zsiz! Psizzl Tzing!!! went the keen-pointed 
bayonets through quivering human flesh and soon the 
wavelets lashed red the white pebble-stones of the 
sloping beach. 

" Giddy work. Bill," yelled a sturdy labourer, drawing 
his bloody blade from a fat Teuton neck. 

" Gawds treuth, mate, that it is— ough ! tike that, you 
German sausage, and dam your cheek for comin' 'ere." 

In ten minutes it was over, and half the number of 
boats were flying hot haste back to the fleet — ^but they 
left six hundred dead and drowned lying as sea-weed by 
the water's edge. And England paid her toll, for eighty 
poor fellows would never again see those most dear to 
them. When finally driven off, the brave defenders ran 
back to their shelter and poured volley after volley into 
the retreating boats until they had steamed beyond 
range. The result was of course to be anticipated; 
every vessel commenced a terrible shell-fire at the 
roughly constructed barricades, but, as had been proved 
in the Hispano-American and Russo-Japanese wars> 
ships could do little damage to shore works. True, 
they tore up the road-way, cracked the huge slabs, bent 
the steel railing, completely destroyed the pier, and 
started half a dozen disastrous fires — ^but they did not 
succeed in driving the brave band of EngUshmen out 
of their hastily constructed but well-planned trenches. 



I20 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

Damage they did, of course, but when later they came 
to occupy the shattered and charred township, the 
Germans wished they had been less Uberal with their 
fire-bringing missiles. Yet so concentrated a fire could 
not fail to find victims, and what with deadly blasts of 
burning shells and steel splinters, another three-score of 
the gallant rifle-men met their deaths. They had, 
luckily, no lack of food or drink, each man havii^ 
brought sufiicient and more than sufficient to last a good 
two days, — and longer than this they could not hope to 
hold out When the fire from the sea had ceased and 
the whole front lay waste and shattered, a second con* 
tingent of Germans set out for the shore. This time 
they held off at five hundred yards, and with crackling 
macKine-guns searched every nook and cranny of the 
stone-faced esplanade. Here occurred the worst casu- 
alties, over three hundred poor fellows falling to the 
greedy bullets. After a few minutes of this the enemy 
steamed forward, and, as before, leapt out, formed up 
and charged. 

Again the furious volleys, — sl little more scattered 
perhaps, — ^again the fatal hesitation. Somewhere down 
the British line, a lithe young form leapt forward with 
Union Jack waving from his rifle. A great burst of 
cheering followed and, as com emptied from a sack, the 
English streamed pell-mell out upon the beach. Here 
swords and revolvers came into play, the Teutons 
standing their ground with the utmost hardihood. But 
British pluck gained the day, — ^though the price of 
victory was very great indeed. 

Back went the Germans, beaten from one end of the 
line to the other — and this time the dead numbered over 
a thousand. And then again came that awful bombard- 
ment, heart breaking and nerve-rending in its dread 



WHAT HAPPENED AT WORTHING 121 

intensity ; thrice did it happen thus through the coming 
night, and still the enemy had gained no foothold 
They had tried every possible device, even sending forces 
of a few hundred several miles each way down the coast; 
yet on every hand they met the same strenuous opposi- 
tion and went back to the ships disheartened. During 
the night, too, a squadron of ten destroyers from Ports- 
mouth made a fierce torpedo attack on the German fleet; 
— ^but after sinking two small transports and a third 
class cruiser, every one was destroyed. In the early 
morning, the British General ordered a retirement of 
nine-tenths of his remaining forces to the prepared 
trenches upon the commanding ridges behind the town. 
He had been informed that a division of regulars with 
several batteries of guns had arrived and that further 
resistance at the water's edge was not necessary, besides 
being too costly. So next morning at daybreak the 
enemy found the rifle-fire much diminished when, after 
the sixth bombardment they sent forward the eighth 
landing party. But before the remaining British rifle- 
men left, they had emptied their cartridge-belts with 
painful results to their foe. 
That day Worthing was occupied. 



CHAPTER XVI. 
Getting our hand in. 

A well known Baronet, who does not desire his name 
to be made public, has a sailor son, at the beginning of 
the war a lieutenant in H.M.S. Lancaster. From him 
he received the following letter which, through the 
courtesy of the writer I am enabled to reproduce, for it 
gives an account of the work done by the Third Cruiser 
Squadron from the point of view of an eye-witness : — 
" My dear old Dad, 

" Since I last wrote we have had no end of a 
time. By Jove, I never thought five days ago that we 
were to take part in a stiff action, — ^indeed the war came 
as an absolute surprise to us. The Admiral had a cable 
on Tuesday morning (about six o'clock, I understand), 
and by breakfast time we all knew that Germany was 
looking for trouble. It was not until two hours later 
however that we learnt that our ships at Spithead had 
gone to the bottom and we were no end mad, I can tell 
you. But, we hadn't time to grouse, for in a brace of 
shakes every vessel tmable to lie along the Mole had a 
couple of barges lashed alongside and we started 
whipping in as much coal as we could stow, and a bit 
more as well. The rumour went round that we; were to 
steam north at once and bash William's fleet to pieces, 
and we looked forward to the action. It was curious 
to notice how calmly we officers and the men took the 
sudden transition from peace to war ; only a little more 
spring about the men's movements and a little more 
merriment in their conversation. Our old man was 



GETTING OUR HAND IN 123 

signalled aboard the 'Formidable' and went off hot 
haste to hear what Scottie had to say ; he wasn't away 
more than forty minutes, so the interview was evidently 
short and sweet As our bunkers were already nearly 
cram full, it only took up three hours to squeeze a bit in 
odd comers, and we were to weigh at midday. At 
eleven all barges were cast off and we received orders 
to drop all boats with the exception of a steam pinnace 
apiece. Then came ' strip wood fittings ' and good Gad ! 
you should have seen the men go at it. I managed to 
pack off most of my little odds and ends in one of the 
boats and so they are waiting for me at Gib. when next 
we call in,— and goodness knows when that will be. 

" At eight bells it was up and away and no sooner 
had we cleared the land than the whole squadron settled 
down to a steady fifteen knots. And we had plenty to 
do to fill in the time, I can tell you. Most important of 
all was the towing target practice, just to keep our eyes in. 
Scottie's a devil for guns and in shooting we reckon we're 
pegs ahead of any of the other squadrons, or rather, than 
they were before the disaster. Rattling good practice 
was made, especially when the speed at which we were 
moving is considered. One of our men got a maximum, 
— ^poor devil, he's dead now, but we officers are getting 
up a sub. for his wife and kiddies, and if you like you 
can send a tenner along for yourself. We gathered that 
the Admiral intended using us as battleships but we 
should have been jolly little use with only our six- 
inchers against anything large of the Germans. As it 
turned out we were wanted for something better and we 
happened to come in very useful in the end. We had 
been steaming for three days and anticipated picking up 
some news by the "wireless" which would give us a 
hint where to find the " Dutchmen " without having to 



124 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

waste good coal and time in scouting about for them. 
But nothing turned up until Friday at two o'clock in the 
afternoon (you wouldn't understand it if I said 'four 
bells/ would you?), when the 'Leviathan' spotted a 
destroyer bearing down hell for leather towards us and 
signalling like the deuce. Soon we made out the word 
' Despatches ' and at once the Admiral hoisted a general 
signal to drop speed to eight knots. The sea was like 
a mill-pond so the destroyer, the 'Mohawk* from 
Devonport, ran alongside the 'Formidable* and her 
skipper clambered on board. 

"We weren't kept long in suspense; our skipper 
again went with the other captains on board the flag- 
ship, and on his return called us in and told us that the 
Germans were landing at Worthing and that we were to 
step in and take them by surprise if possible. I felt a 
bit squeamish I must admit when he told us they had 
no less than thirty-two armoured ships to our nineteen 
and goodness only knew how many smaller fry as well 
The plan arranged was, for the battleships to steam in 
and suddenly open fire ; then, having got the enemy on 
the move, retreat slowly towards the south-west and try 
to draw them away from the transports and cruisers. 
If they succeeded in this, our seven armoured cruisers 
were to go headlong for these and do as much damage 
as we could before getting wiped out of existence. Our 
skipper didn't mince matters either, and he let us know 
very distinctly that he did not anticipate one of us seeing 
port again, and in view of the terrible odds against us it 
seemed hopeless from the start 

" However, we're pretty good with the guns in this 
fleet, and thought we should leave a mark on most of 
the German ships before getting sunk. We allowed the 
battleships to get ahead and steamed slowly east, the 



GETTING OUR HAND IN 125 

idea being to bear down on Worthing two hours after 
the battleship action had commenced. Between ten and 
eleven on Friday we saw the reflexion of a searchlight 
away on the western horizon, and immediately after- 
wards a dull boom came down the wind, to be instantly 
followed by a rapid succession of great explosions. We 
were twenty miles away at the time and so saw very 
little, as you can imagine, but we could at least notice 
that the sounds veered more and more south and became 
every moment fainter. We conmienced steaming in 
towards the shore and in an hour could see Worthing 
and the shipping around ; evidently the invkders did not 
anticipate a second attack, for they were carrying on the 
debarkation beneath a brilliant illumination of arc- 
lamps and searchlights. We could make out three large 
armoured cruisers and five coast-defence ships of the 
'Heimdal' class, recently reconstructed. There were 
also a score or so of small cruisers and several torpedo 
craft, but we didn't take much stock of them. As a fact, 
our admiral gave us jolly little time to see anything, for 
before you could say * Jack Robinson ' we were at 'em 
like a terrier at a rat 

"What really happened from that minute is still a 
haze in my mind and I couldn't give a consecutive 
account and then swear it was true even if my life 
depended on it. All I know is we spread out so as to 
give one another plenty of working room and then went 
at it hammer and tongs. The * Leviathan ' and * Kent * 
went for the armoured cruisers and in less than three 
minutes we heard a fearful crash and found the * Kent * 
had gone smack into the great *Furst Bismarck,' — a 
much more powerful ship but not good for more than 
sixteen knots at the best Of course ramming was 
wrong tactically, but it was essential for our plans to 



1 26 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

disable the large cruisers and by Gad I didn't the 
* Leviathan ' take it out of the * Prince Adalbert ' ? It 
was a treat to watch them and soon I saw the German 
ship had had enough. The * Kent ' and her enemy were 
slowly sinking, but the captain of the former managed 
to get off a torpedo just as the disabled * Adalbert ' was 
passing at a range of no more than six himdred yards. 
It kicked up a smother, I can tell you, and the three 
ships went down in a blaze of fire and foam too terrible 
to describe. 

"But we were hard at it ourselves. The smaller 
cruisers and coast-defence ships had all been either 
speedily sunk or driven to sea, where they fled after the 
battle-fleet, — a course followed by the remaining 
armoured cruiser, the * Friederick Karl,* and so we set 
to work on the transports. It was gory work and not 
over dangerous, but the unfortunate 'Donegal' went 
ashore and while fixed thus a d — d German skipper of a 
lumbering coal-hulk went full pelt for her sides. Of 
course the collier doubled up and sank in a jiffy, but 
not before driving a forty foot hole into the * Donegal's \ 
side. We took fifty minutes to clear the roads of hostile 
shipping, using torpedoes whenever we got a chance. 
Most of the Germans tried to run their ships ashore and 
as we drew a great deal more water than most of them 
we had to plunk into them with six inch high-explosive 
shells and these soon set them burning. Amongst 
others was the ' Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse,' the largest 
of aU an' easily distinguishable by her four funnels. 
Half a dozen six inch guns had been mounted in her 
and she caused quite a lot of damage before a torpedo 
from the 'Essex' sent her ashore to avoid sinking; 
we then steamed around her stem and fired about thirty 
shells clean through her and in a trice she was ablaze 



I' 



GETTING OUR HAND IN 127 

fore and aft The old 'Bremen' fouled the 'Bar- 
barossa' and whilst they hung caught up we made rare 
good practice at them. Every now and then one or 
other of them blew up, some of the ammunition forming 
the cargo catching alight After two hours of * finishing 
ofiF/ as you might say, the Admiral signalled * cease fire ' 
and we set a course west after the battle-fleets, wonder- 
ing whether we. should meet and be wiped out by the 
returning Germans. 

" Leaving the roadstead we had a piece of dreadful 
luck. We never suspected the Germans of mining the 
position and went full pelt out the shortest cut, and the 
poor old ' Essex ' hit a mechanical mine fair and square 
and rose nearly straight with the shock. We stopped at 
once and lowered our few remaining boats but she had 
sunk in three minutes and of her crew of nearly 700 only 
ninety-two were found afloat So the game in the end 
was as follows: — 

" To us were two armoured cruisers, one coast-defence 
ship (* Beowulf '), four small cruisers (* Arcona,' * Gazelle/ 
' Ariadne,' and * Gefion '), one torpedo-gunboat (* Hela *), 
and about one hundred and thirty liners, transports, 
colliers, repair-ships, etc., against our loss of three county 
class, the * Kent,' * Essex/ and * Donegal.' In men it is 
reckoned we lost just over two thousand, killed, wounded 
and missing, but the Germans must have lost at least 
sixty thousand troops, three thousand sailors and heaven 
knows how many civilians employed in one capacity or 
another. Their material loss must run into many 
millions of pounds, for not more than two thirds of tl^ 
cargoes had been discharged when we came upon them. 

*' I have a bad left arm, a small splinter having opened 
a five inch cut in the fleshy part just below the elbow, 
but the doc. Sdys it is gettii^ on nicely. They put half 



138 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

a dozen stitches in it and it looks very healthy to-day 
•o neither the mater nor you need feel in any way 
nervous. I don't expect to get off to see you for a 
long time yet as all our ships got pretty well knocked 
about, and as we constitute ' England's last Hope ' so to 
tpcik, we are doing our best to get things put straight 
as ^leedily as [xissible. 

" I hear from one of Scottie's men that he gave them 
awful beans and though only five of our ships reached 
here it was the Germans that ran away and not ourselves, 
—what would be called a moral victory, I suppose. We 
feel awfully helpless here in the service, for we have 
plenty of men but no ships and of course the Dockyard's 
too dreadfully overwoiited, every dock having a ship in 
it There is one thing about it which is satisfactory, — 
the amount of dam^e below the water-line is in no case 
very great and so three or four days will be sufficient 
for docking, overhauling, repairing and cleanii^ most of 
the ships. But in the meantime there is not a single 
powerful ship vk can send out and the Germans have a 
free run of the coast It is sickening, I can tell you. 
Well, I suppose we must hope for the best,— but I pity 
the Germans if we get the upper bajid again ; we 
intend to sink or c^ture everything afloat bearing the 
German flag even down to yachts, so that if their sea- 
side trippers want an hour's sail they'll have to go to 
France. By the bye, they must be in a poor way in 
France if Kaiser WilHam is able to hold tiieir fleet in 
hand merely with the threat of invasion. Still, we woiild 
much rather attend to the matter ourselves and there is 
DO doubt in the minds of any of us who is coming out 
t(q)-dog in the end. It all depends on how long it will 
take to get up the ships at Portsmouth and whether we 
can hold the place while they are being repaired" 



GETTING OUR HAND IN 129 

The rest of the letter dealt with personal matters and 
generalities and has no permanent interest here. It will 
at all events be seen that our foe were not having things 
all their own way, and that Englishmen still know how 
to fight 






CHAPTER XVII. 
The Stemming of the Tide. 

The situation at the end of the eventful week begin- 
ning June 7th was admirably siunmed up in a leader that 
appeared on Monday, 14th June» in one of our best 
known daily papers. 

"The Situation. 
" It is now seven days since the Germans thrust war 
*' upon the British Nation by a trick as cowardly as it 
" was unparalleled In this short time many things have 
happened and perhaps the most striking feature of all 
these has been the comparative failure of the German 
"plans. We now know that our enemy anticipated a 
" complete paralysis of both our naval and military forces 
"and hoped ere any semblance of defence could be 
o]^[anised to have so swept the southern counties as to 
leave all idea of our ultimate victory out of the 
question. 

" For our part, crushing as is the blow to our naval 
" supremacy, we never thought other than that, given 
time, we should sweep the daring invaders into the 
sea. No time was lost in meeting the disaster as it 
should be met, and the gallant defence of Worthily, 
with the naval action of Admiral Sir Percy Scott has 
so delayed the German plans that any advantage they 
hoped to obtain by the surprise has altogether 
"vanished The three days delay in landing and the 
destruction of all their heavy field artillery and a lai^e 
proportion of their supplies, gave Lord Kitchener time 
to organise a solid defence across the Surrey Downs^ 



tt 



« 
<( 
<( 
<C 
U 
« 



« 
« 



THE STEMMING OF THE TIDE 131 

^' This advance line of entrenchment, well equipped as 
** it is with field and machine guns, has successfully held 
" in check the hundred thousand Germans landed last 
"we^k, but when these have been reinforced by the 
" second army of invasion, even now disembarkk^ at 
"Worthing and totallii^ at a modest computation one 
" hundred and fifty thouscUid men, there is little doubt 
" our brave citizen soldiers will be forced to retire to the 
"next line of trenches, hurriedly being thrown up on 
" selected positions some miles further north west 

" It must not be supposed that we decry the danger 
" to our native land, — ^f ar from it But we would wish 
" to assure our readers that everything possible is being 
" done to safeguard the metropolis, and more especially 
"Portsmouth. It is upon Portsmouth indeed that our 
" future hopes are based, and from all we can gather the 
" first objective of the Germsms will be our prenuer naval 
"port If we can hold Portsmouth, (and we firmly 
" believe we can and shall do so), until a dozen of our 
" sunken vessels have been repaired, we shall speedily 
" reverse the present position. Let us not forget that, 
" according to the latest telegrams, no less than eleven of 
"Germany's best ships have been totally destroyed 
" leaving them but thirteen vessels of the first class and 
"many of these badly damaged A blockade is 
" obviously quite out of the question with so insignificant 
" a force, so that as regards the importation of food- ' 
"stuffs no fears need be entertained as to the future. 
" Their command of the sea is at the best nominal, 
"since at the present moment it is maintained by less 
" than a dozen armoured ships of true fighting vaJue. 

" As we go to i»:ess, rumours reach us of another naval 
"disaster, it being reported that two of the Chatham 
" Reserve Squadron have been blown up with all hands. 



132 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

** In the absence of definite information we can make 
"no comment, but pray the statement may have no 
''foundation in fact'* 

On the same page, in inmiense black headlines, 
appeared the following piece of bad news : — 

" Naval Disaster Oflf Margate. 
*' ttM.S. • Revenge ' and * Trafalgar ' Blown Up with 

" AU Hands. 
** H.M.S. ' Victorious * Beached in Sinking Condition. 

''The following has been circulated by the Admir- 
•'alty:— 

" We regret to report that whilst outward-bound from 
"Sheemess the six vessels of the Chatham Reserve 
''Fleet ran into a mine-field at the entrance to the 
" Duke of Edinburgh Channel The ' Revenge/ flag- 
" ship of Rear- Admiral Moring, was leading and struck 
"two mines simultaneously, one blew both propellep 
" away and she was drifting towards the sands when a 
"third exploded imder her coimter. She at once sank 
" in shallow water and of her crew only sixty have been 
"saved We regret to say Rear- Admiral Moring is 
" among the missing. H.M.S. ' Trafalgar ' exploded a 
"mine with her ram and plunged under water in mid- 
" channel. One hundred and seventy only of her crew 
" were rescued, including Captain Birt- Jones ; she lies 
"on an even keel in seven fathoms. The remaining 
"vessels of the squadron, H.M.S. 'Victorious,' 'Royal 
" Sovereign,' ' Empress of India,' and ' Nile ' evaded the 
" peril, and backed away from the supposed dangerous 
" area. In doing so a mine exploded alongside H.M.S. 
"'Victorious,* and to save her from sinking Captain 
" Herbert beached the ship close to the Knob Light 
"The three remaining vessels returned to Sheemess 



THE STEMMING OF THE TIDE 133 






without further mishap. The mines had evidently 
been sown by German ships, since on investigation the 
** officials at Sheemess have discovered a large number 
"in the Mid-Deep, Barrow Deep, Black Deep and 
" Princes Channel Steps are being taken to immediately 
" remove the dangerous obstructions." 
Was ever such a bolt from the blue ? 
England had surely suffered enough without this 
additional catastrophe. Gradually the truth leaked out, 
little by little ; Rear- Admiral Moring had been ordered 
to sea with our only remaining undamaged battleships 
to give battle to any German vessels to be found. It 
was hoped he might destroy the few old armotured coast- 
defence vessels protecting Worthing and then with any 
ships he still had afloat sail north and await the battle- 
ship-squadron of our foes. The policy was a right one, 
— to destroy as many of the enemy's ships as possible at 
whatever cost to ourselves, — and for this reason. When 
Germany lost a ship it meant losing a vex*y appreciable 
portion of her Navy. She had, to all intents and pur- 
poses, no old vessels, no " second-line " upon which to 
rely. In England there were at least a score, probably 
double that number, of first-class ships only requiring 
time and hard-work to make them as serviceable as ever. 
But when it came to the time for them to act it would 
facilitate their work if in the interim continuous attacks 
had weakened their foe. Two things were necessary 
therefore ; never-ceasing attempts to sink or disable the 
German vessels and a sturdy defence of Portsmouth to 
permit the efficient repair of the least damaged war- 
ships. 

The situation was pregnant with possibilities for both 
sides, our foeman quite readily grasping the threatened 
dai^er to themselves. Suspecting therefore an attack 



134 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

by Admiral Moring's squadron, they had besprinkled the 
mouth of the Thames most generously with niechanical 
contact mines, with the result already narrated Of pro- 
tected cruisers we had many score, but without the 
support of armoured ships they could have availed us 
nothing. The whole energy of those in authority was 
therefore directed upon the protection of Portsmouth, 
and to this end vast armies of men laboured night and 
day whilst the soldiers of England, both orthodox and 
self ^constituted, held the foe at arms length along the 
grass-covered hills. Yet ever the task grew harder, for 
every day came fresh legions and as each transport 
became empty she started back for a further load of men 
and munitions. And as convoy in this work there were 
four second-class battleships of 7400 tons and six 
powerful coast-defence slups, besides several great 
armoured cruisers. The most we could do was to 
badger the • small convoys with our fast scouts and 
destroyers, and on three occasions lucky torpedoes sent 
many thousands poimds worth of warlike goods to the 
sea-bottom and robbed Germany of many thousand 
gallant men. Yet when the month of June was drawing 
to a close, the foreign legions had grown enormously. 
Moreover they seized Bournemouth, then Poole and 
eventually Portland and formed another and safer base, 
— ^safe from the attacks of our active torpedo-craft and 
not open to the sea as Worthing roads. Portland had 
been well mined by us ere leaving and two transports 
with the coast-defence ship " Hagen " were blown sky 
h^h before the attendant tugs and launches had swept 
the harbour safe. On June 28th, too, four of the repaired 
German battleships appeared oflf Bournemouth, proving 
that their damage at least could not have been very 
great 



THE STEMMING OF THE TIDE 135 

Every day more men came, — every day. Yet every 
day was one step nearer salvation for us. Portsmoutii 
was each hour being rendered a harder nut to crack and 
whilst step by step the German forces won their way 
from the east and from the west, so hourly were guns 
being mounted, trenches dug, redoubts formed, etc. ; to 
oppose the foe when at last the Naval port should be 
completely surroimded. It is worthy of note that the 
Germans paid no attention whatsoever to London and 
were quite content to hold in check the many army corps 
sent against theuL They realized that to insure victory 
it was essential to absolutely destroy Britain's navsd 
power; this they had only partly accomplished and 
unless it wer^ efficiently completed, even the capture of 
London would not save them from ultimate defeat 
Moreover, there was a further important factor, — the 
Japanese were sending their fleet to help their Allies in 
the hour of stress ; was not their Emperor shut up a 
prisoner in the Island ? had not some of their finest ships 
been sunk by the insolent Germans? 

And so with the best part of their fleet and a land 
force of 150,000 men, the Japanese were setting out for 
a long journey west The Suez Canal had been 
cunningly blocked early in the war by a huge German 
steamer and blasting had merely made the obstruction 
more complete. So the Japs were coming round the 
Cape. 

Germany trembled when it heard that this fleet had 
left, and swore to take Portsmouth; that accompUshed 
they need fear no one for they could raise and add 
to their own fleet the huge English ships, just as Japan 
had done at Port Arthur. Yet there was no time to lose 
if victory was to be theirs. 

Germany trembled! 



136 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

Then America ofiFered to help England, — ^to come and 
** Uck up their demed Navy " and send a few thousand 
of her best men to "clean up a bit on land" The 
answer was awaited with much anxiety by both sides and 
then came the never to be forgotten head-line that filled 
every paper bill, 

ENGLAND REFUSES AMERICA'S HELP I 

There could be no doubt about it, — ^there it was 
officially in black and white. The British PubUc fumed, 
and swore the Government had gone mad, swore a lot 
of other things equally silly, swore that America would 
never forgive us and so on, — and so on. 

Yet, strange as it may appear, America appreciated 
our answer and out came their own head-lines ; we can't 
touch them for head lines in England, and they passed 
and surpassed themselves on this occasioa 

Great Britain's Gorgeous Grit 



England Says She'll Give Germans HelL 



God Help The Germans; They'll Want It Soon. 



We're Right Proud of You, England. Give 'Em HelL 



Bully For The Brits ! They'll Round Germany Up 

Alone. 



John Bull Full Of Fight ; Jonathan To See Fair Play. 



These are but a sample. England would fight it out 
alone, — it was nobody's affair but her own and she was 



THE STEMMING OF THE TIDE 137 

qtdte capable of dealing with it Germany heard the 
answer as soon almost as we knew it 

And Germany trembled more than ever ! ! 

Curiously enough defeat became a tabooed word in 
the Clubs of Germany from that day. Prior thereto it 
was used frequently, — in connection with England ; but 
now any man using it was scowled into silence. They 
were beginning to grasp a forgotten fact, forgotten by 
them that is, that though you may throw mud at the 
British Lion and twist his tail to your heart's content, 
you must not pull it out by the roots. Then, too, they 
had judged Britain's fighting capabilities by certain none 
too meritorious incidents of the South African Campaign. 
They forgot that in those dark days we had not been to 
war for a generation, that we had to transport our troops 
over six thousand miles of sea, that we had traitors, in 
our own camp, aye ! even of high political standing, that 
our Intelligence Department had been sadly misled, that 
our enemy were defending hearth and home and 
resorted to any dastardly methods that occurred to them 
however contrary to the laws of civilization. All these 
things they forgot and this further ; that since those days 
the War Office had been reorganised, rifle-clubs had 
sprung into existence all over the country, little 
Englanders did not exist (or if they did, dared not admit 
it) and lastly every man was fighting for his native land 
and took it as a personal insult that any dirty alien 
should have dared land without a duly certified pass from 
the local inspector of nuisances. 

One curious feature of the situation w«is the attitude 
of the European nations towards us. Russia had by her 
Alliance with Germany, given our foes the free hand they 
desired outside their native land and the weight of this 
Alliance, held out as a menace arotuid the French 



138 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

borders, effectually prevented our friends on the other 
side of the Channel from offerix^ us the aid they would 
have liked to give us. For, as their papers pertinently 
put it, " what use is it to save London, if by so doing we 
lose Paris?" 

And the aj^^ument, backed up by the ever present 
menace, was quite unanswerable. As to the minor 
Powers, the action of Germany and its seeming complete 
success entirely silenced their protests, though their 
editors and leader-writers hurled scathing comments 
broad-cast at the perfidious Teuton. Italy was staunchly 
for us, but dared not voice the sentiments of her people, 
— ^for Austro-Hungary was in transition and the Kaiser 
claimed a Sovereignty here also now that the aged 
Emperor had joined the vast majority. 

The Austrian Fleet, ever increasing, was in spite of its 
size, considered one of the most efficient afloat, and 
memories of Lissa lingered jret in fair ItaUa where the 
tightened purse-strings had strangled many a naval- 
programme designed to put the Mediterranean Power 
once again in the fore-front of naval nations. Russia's 
share of the campaign consisted mainly in publishing 
huge threats against our Indian frontier and in watching 
with some two million ill-conditioned troops the 
countries most antagonistic to the Russo-German 
Alliance. Of ships she had but few, though four battle- 
ships building in Grerman yards had been requisitioned 
by her ally at cost price, — as also sundry vessels 
constructed in America and France. They were powerful 
units and in German hands likely to prove very danger- 
ous enemies. Of America we have already spoken, and 
Germany took good care not to interfere with American 
trade for fear of drag^ng Brother Jonathan into the ring 
ag^ainst the wishes of John Bull. Hence, famine, so long 



THE STEMMING OF THE TIDE 139 

dreaded in such circumstances^ happily proved but a 
myth, and where factories had perforce to shut down, the 
employees found ample work under the Government in 
either perfecting defences or as soldiers. 

And these defences were of two natures. The first 
and most important, having discovered the objective of 
the invaders, was to secure Portsmouth and to this end 
no less than sixty thousand laboured continuously 
night and day. The second defence was around 
London, since the Metropolis had to be kept from 
violation at the hands of the enemy. This defence was 
more a matter of men than science, and safety of the 
dty depeiided more upon the resistance offered by the 
half million men organised for that purpose than upon 
fixed defences and fortifications. 

With Portsmouth, however, the matter was entirely 
different Here high hills surround the town and 
harbour to the; north, north-east and part of the west, 
whilst from the sea the Isle of Wight effectually 
prevented an enemy from bombarding the mainland 

And on these hills, two belts of , forts and batteries were 
constructed and the position of these so carefully 

selected that there was not one that at critical times could 

not be assured the support of at least one neighbouring 

stronghold. 

At Port Arthur, arotmd which so much interest centred 

during the Russo-Japanese War, the fortifications were, 

at the commencement of hostilities, so immature, that had 

the Japanese immediately landed ten thousand men, the 

fortress must have fallen during the first month of the 

campaign. Yet it did not in fact surrender until nearly 

twelve months afterwards and this was due to the rapidly 

constructed defences, hurriedly completed while the 

yellow f oemen were held at bay and made to fight their 



I40 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

way forward step by step. But at Port Arthur many 
things were against the Russians ; the harbour itself is in 
the nature of a rat-trap and can be bombarded from the 
sea on two sides, the whole defence was of barely fifty 
thousand men, a strict blockade was kept and hence 
little gun-running successfully carried out and lastly — 
they were Russians, fighting because they were told to 
fight, devoid of patriotism and badly led 

With us the situation was much better — Portsmouth is 
one of the best equipped naval arsenals in the world and 
the where-with-all to construct a series of really formid- 
able defences was ready at hand. And labour was 
unlimited, — this, with a very perfect organisation to 
superintend matters meant much indeed. The main line 
of defence, starting from the eastern side, b^an on 
Hayling Island, where four batteries equipped with 
numerous quickfirers had been erected on tiie low-lying 
shore facing West Wittering. These lay back some- 
what from a line of earth works and batteries along West 
Thomey Island which indeed they were intended to 
support. On this side, therefore, the English outposts 
were about eight miles from the Dockyards, and as it was 
not anticipated the enemy would attempt to breach the 
defence at this point, the distance was considered 
adequate. From Thomey Island the defences ran north 
beside Emsworth, the famous home of luscious natives, 
and between this picturesque old town and the Ashdean 
Fort on Walderton Down stretched at least six miles of 
flat field-broken land, bad to defend and hard to attack. 
In this six miles lay the main weakness of the garrison, 
though a similar situation existed on the western 
boundary. Here the experience of South Africa came to 
our aid, and every mile or less a block-house, built of 
stone or steel, was erected ; a cramped, imcomfortablc 



THE STEMMING OF THE TIDE 141 

habitation capable of holding about two small quick- 
firers and the same number of machine gims. On the 
simimit of each was perched a searchlight worked by a 
Kttle petrol motor from within. The garrison Uved in 
a small wooden cottage at all except times of attack and 
were being constantly relieved owing to the strain of 
guarding so responsible a position. Five of these were 
there between Thomey and the hills and between them 
were dug deep trenches, with bomb proof shelters and 
mounded redoubts. Opposite these trenches and raised 
earth-works the land was levelled away for a mile, — ^no 
very great business since already much of it was very 
flat. Maxims were plentifully besprinkled along these 
redoubts and the stretch was constantly garrisoned with 
between three or four thousand men. At the rear of the 
trenches was a second line and in front of them also lay 
sectioned earthworks, all strongly held by picked mea 
Therefore, thoi^h this particular spot was considered 
weak, it was of such real strength that after three fruit- 
less mass attacks upon it the Germans left it well alone. 
At Walderton Down beg^ the zone of forts, — what 
may be termed permanent fortifications. These, on the 
northern border, were in two distinct lines, though on the 
east the two lines merged into one. The outer line, from 
Droxf ord Battery in the west to Ashdean Fort was made 
up of thirteen forts and batteries placed on commanding 
hills over-looking the main valleys of approach. The 
second line, from West Walk Battery just north of the 
village of Wickham to Inholmes Copse Fort, included 
fifteen powerful redoubta This inner line was so 
constituted that in the event of any of the first line forts 
being captured the enemy would find them untenable 
owing to a terrible cross-fire. All attention had, of 
course, first been paid to the outer line of defences, so 



142 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

that when the enemy came in touch therewith, they 
might be held whilst the inner was completed and macfe 
as impregnable as possible. 

Every method of legitimate warfare was skilfully 
employed by our chief s« — staked pits were dug in weak 
places and protected by barbed-wire entanglements 
dominated by machine-guns, whilst in other localities 
powerftd land mines were buried capable of blowing up 
several acres at a time. Searchlights there were in 
plenty and to aid the defenders, such of the sunken 
vessels as the Admiralty did not immediately propose 
raising, were mercilessly robbed of guns, ammunition and 
even torpedoes. 

Port Arthur had not been defended in vain, as the 
Germans were to discover to their cost 

From Wickham to the mcMith of the river Meon the 
defence was similar to that on the east side, — blodc- 
house and entrenchments ; but here the river materially 
helped the defenders and made a natural barricade of no 
ordinary str^igth. Thousands of tons of ammunition 
were taken arotuid the forts and blockhouses, and in the 
trenches and bomb-proofs^ cases of deadly hand-grenades 
were stored away ready for action when the fighting 
became hand to hand. 

But all this work took time and the defence was not 
declared complete, as far as human ingenuity could make 
it so, until the ^id of August, nearly three months after 
hostilities had commenced. During this time much had 
happened ; in the first place the Japanese fleet was now 
well on its way west, having already reached Ceylon after 
a five week journey. When the great concourse of 
9hips forming this fleet is taken, into consideration, it 
is not surprising that the progress made was compare- 
atively slow. Then, too, the army of invasion had grown 



THE STEMMING OF THE TIDE 143 

exceedingly and the enemy had secured their position at 
Worthing by occupying Brighton and New Haven. A 
million and a quarter Teuton fighting men had set foot 
on British soil and the whole of Sussex, Kent, Dorset, 
Wiltshire and nearly all Berkshire, Hampshire and 
Surrey was in their hands. Beyond that they could not 
extend their lines, the British, nation in arms being too 
mighty even for their trained legions. Yet it was bad 
enough so, and the time could not be rar off when 
Portsmouth would be isolated and the real business of 
the invaders begun. Twice had a landing been 
attempted on the East Coast and twice had the invaders 
been driven into the sea or shot down to a man. Thrice 
had violent attacks been pressed towards the Metropolis 
— , at the second our lines recoiled and a cold fear 
cramped the hearts of all in London ; but at the third 
attempt the men of England stood firm and the Germans 
dashed frantically but ineffectually against the immovable 
lines of stolid Britons. 

On the sea things had changed in ten weeks. One 
day it was reported that ten German first-class battle- 
ships lay at Portland and simultaneously eight more were 
seen cruising off Plymouth ; this could only be explained 
by the addition of the Russian ships to IJie remaining 
German^ vessels. 

Yet far more important from the British point of view 
was a long article in tiie well-known service journal, the 
" Naval and Military Record," giving an account of the 
work at Portsmouth Dockyard 

'' The repairs to the damaged diips continue to receive 
"the whole attention of the Dockyard authorities and 
" overtime is being worked in every department The 
*' Dreadnought " was floated out of No. 1 5 Dock on July 
" icth. and still lies alongside the wharf receivixig finish- 



144 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

" inc touches. Her repairs took far longer than was 
"anticipated by the press, and references to 'fit for 
" service in a fortnight ' were obviously ridiculous, too 
" ridiculous to anyone who has made a study of war-ship 
"construction. For all that, the authorities have 
" displayed a commendable activi^ and are to be compli- 
"meoted upon the amount of wcnk they have got 
" through. They have been ably backed up in their 
" endeavours not only by the labourers themselves but 
" by the complements of the ships who are voluntarily 
" turning their hands to skilled-labour work with the 
" desire to expedite matters and get to sea again. The 
* armoured cruisers ' Shannon,' ' Duke of Edinburgh ' 
" and ' Natal ' are in the fittii^ out basin, their places in 
" dock being taken by the ' Lord Nelson,' battleship, 
" ' Kashima,' Japanese battleship and the ' Defence,' 
" armoured cruiser. The first of these is to be undocked 
" to-day, the ' Kashima ' on Tuesday or Wednesday next 
" and the ' Defence ' a week later. Besides these, the 
" ' Mars,* ' Prince George,' ' Swiftsure ' and ' Triumph,' 
" battleships, ' Drake/ ' Roxburg ' and ' Aso,' armoured 
" cruisers, are ready for sea and are moored in the stream. 
" The ' Agamemnon,' ' Britannia,' ' Commonwealth ' and 
" ' Albemarle ' have been raised and are awaiting their 
" turn for dockir^, whilst many more will shortly be 
" afloat again and, by the beginning of November, we 
" may hope to see at least twelve first class battleships 
" ready for service and probably quite as many armoured 
"cruisers. The nightly destroyer attacks against 
" Portland have been discontinued, the vigilance of the 
"enemy making them merely hazardous without any 
" likelihood of their proving successful The defences 
" in the Isle of Wight are being considerably 
" strengthened with a view to resisting any attempts at 



THE STEMMING OF THE TIDE 145 

" landing. Yesterday the coast-guards on Culver CliflF 
** observed two new armoured cruisers flying the Russian 
•'flag; these are probably the 'Bayan* and 'Admiral 
" MakaroflF/ built on the model of the ' Aso ' to replace 
*^ ships lest during the Russo-Japanese war. As I write 
"news reaches me that the 'New Zealand' has been 
''raised and that the 'Dominion' will be afloat on 
^ Monday. With these two additional ships in fighting 
''trim our prospects for the future are by no means 
"hopeless." 



CHAPTER XVIIL 
The Seige of Portsmouth. 

We may be excused for devoting some considerable 
space to the most important feature of this war, — ^the 
great seige of Portsmouth. This siege was as remark- 
able for the savagery of the attacks as for the stubborn- 
ness of the defence and also for the amazing disparity in 
numbers between the opposing forces. The Germans 
had landed, we now know, a total of 1,460,000 men, or 
more than seven times as many as General Nogi had 
at his command before Port Arthur. On the other hand, 
at least 500,000 of this number were employed guarding 
the rear of the invading force and in holding in check the 
continuous attacks that the islanders delivered upon 
every side. Even so they could oppose nearly one 
million trained men to less than 180,000 Britishers and 
of these many were soldiers of the moment — ^and fine 
fighters they made too. It was soon abundantly evident 
that the enemy intended employing much the same 
strategy and tactics as the Japanese had contemplated at 
Port Arthur, namely, to^ carry the place by storm, 
breaking down the defence by sheer weight of numbers. 
The story of the seige is indeed so full of tragic interest; 
that its narration is rather in the nature of a romance 
than an account of what actually occurred Never in ihe 
history of warfare have there been encounters so 
indescribably bloody, so savage in purpose, so savage in 
execution. Naturally the casualties were enormous and 
on the part of the Germans totalled over seven hundred 
thousand, of which nearly half a million were lolled 



THE SIEGE OF PORTSMOUTH 147 

outright The garrison lost nearly one half its force but 
its power of resistance seemed at no time to have been 
in any way diminished by the reduction. 

The German plans had been marred by the un- 
expected resistance offered their advance and hence it 
was not until Thursday, September 2nd, that all 
commimication with the outer world was finally severed 

Affairs were still dictated from London by means of 
wireless telegraphy with machines "tuned" in such a 
maimer that the Germans found it impossible to confuse 
messages by mixing currents. But at last they reached 
the outer line of forts and were flung headlong at the 
defences by their commanding officers. The result of 
this first attempt came as a shock to the Teuton General 
Stafif, for they were repulsed all along the line and the 
ended in a tragedy magnified a thousand times by the 
extraordinary courage and determination of the 
assaulters, — a, tragedy indeed for which no excuse could 
be found even by the reason that the capture of 
Portsmouth was essential and that the sacrifice of life 
was to accomplish this end without resorting to scientific 
siege operations. 

The British defence against this primary assault was 
more than masterly in conception and ghastly effective 
in its execution. The German coup had been arranged 
to take place shortly after mid-night in a general assault 
which was, however, anticipated by the ever alert 
gairison and rendered neutral by a pre-arranged counter- 
attack. The use of shells, which on bursting threw out 
chains of Ituninous stars, powerful searchlights and 
parachute rockets used in conjunction with twelve and 
three potmder quickfirers. Pom-poms and light machine 
guns, wrought awful havoc in the serried ranks of the 
brave assaulters. At this attempt there fell at a modest 



148 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

oomptttation eleven thousand Germans, and in the attack 
dynamite hand-gienades were used for the first time 
with horrible effectiveness. 

But sanguinary as tiiis encounter had been, it was 
fiotliing as compared to the three days' assault on the 
Bow-Hill Forts. Bow Hill is a crescent shaped eminence 
with its outer curve facing due east, and though of 
immense strength, it represented the key to the inner 
line of defence east of the city, forming as it did the 
junction between the outer and inner lines. Once in 
German hands, the fortifications on Chalton and 
Compton Downs and other adjacent hills, would be 
wholly untenable and the collapse of the defence would 
of a certainty follow. Hence tJie decision of the enemy 
to make one grand effort to capture this ridge. The 
defence, from the northern comer to Walderton Down 
rested in nine forts. Farthest north was Down Place 
Fort and East Beacon Hill Battery armed with well 
protected six-inch guns, and, in the former, two of 9.2in. 
bore, they were situated at a height of between 750 and 
800 feet and commanded a wide stretch of country to 
the north and east The western flank was covered by 
Fort Harting and moreover the valley between this fort 
and Down Place was rendered more inhospitable than 
even nature had made it by land mines, stake-pits and 
wire obstruction. Thence, turning south, the elevation 
rapidly decreased, so that Hill-lands Battery was no 
more than 480 feet high and was commanded by a hill 
occupied by the enemy three miles away and 820 feet 
high, (Linch Down). Then came Bow Hill ranging from 
50 to 630 feet in height and here were Forts East 
Marden, Goose-hill and Bow Hill, all well protected and 
heavily armed. Ashdean Fort, (400 feet) was the last 
and lowest of the series. Inside the crescent of Bow 



THE SIEGE OF PORTSMOUTH 149 

Hill lay two more forts, Inholmes Copse Fort (400 feet) 
supporting Goose Hill Fort and West Marden Fort (510 
feet) covering the ground behind Hill-land Battery. 
And it was against these that the Germans were ruth- 
lessly hurled regiment after regiment, and as ruthlessly 
repulsed and slaughtered 

An officer who was in one of the trenches behind HiU- 
lands Battery supplies the following vivid account of that 
awful three days. 

" We had ^ever ceased perfecting our defence and 
morning and night did our best to render the various 
positions impregnable. My special care was a long 
earth-work extending over a mile across the Down 
joining Hill-lands Battery to East Beacon HilL We had 
thrown up earthworks to a height of eight feet and had 
constructed strong pillared bomb-proof shelters behind 
it, and here my men had made themselves very sniog 
indeed. At either end of this entrenchment was a smaS 
block-house faced with thin steel plates, each containing 
a single Maxim and a searchlight. We had a number of 
these latter just about here since it was of the utmost 
importance that the position be held. Besides the above 
machine guns we had a couple placed mid-way between 
the block-houses. From the summit of the earthwcEcks 
we had a clear view down hill and could annihilate any 
force of men advancing up the slope. Nevertheless the 
whole front had been pitched with two-foot wooden 
stakes, with barbed wire netted and re-netted across them 
and firmly fixed with staples. Then, too, we had dug five 
rows of pits and placed wooden stakes at the bottom 
facing point upwards, — deuced nasty obstructions to fall 
into ; these, in addition to mines, made the approach 
about as ticklish as one could well wish. 

"The whole space was of course covered by tike 



I so THE WAR INEVITABLE 

flanking forts, and, in addition to these, a terrific fire 
could be poured in from West Marden over our heads. 
The Germans had mounted a brace of heavy seige gims 
on Linch Down and dropped shell after shell into our 
lines which though they did but slight damage, caused 
us no little annoyance and kept us constantly busy 
repairing our wall But though we were subjected to 
continuous attacks and frequent violent assaults, none 
equalled in severity and determination that extending 
from Sunday, September 19th to the morning of Thurs- 
day when the enemy was finally driven back The 
capture of Linch Down and the adjacent hills had 
enabled the investing army to commence closing in its 
line of containment about the permanent forts upon the 
northern extremity of the eastern fortridge. Every inch 
now grained was contested with the greatest spirit, for to 
allow our lines to be broken meant instant capture of the 
entire fortress. 

" We knew instinctively that a massed assault would 
be hurled against our position and to meet any such 
assault my men had been doubled and an additional 
Maxim and a larger quantity of ammunition sent up to 
us. On Saturday night an offensive movement was 
rapidly developed on the west fortridge from Bishops 
Waltham, several large howitzers mounted upon high 
land behind the town have poured in a heavy fire for 
many hours upon Mayhill Battery and Midlington Fort 
General Baden Powell was not however deceived by this 
obvious feint but sent a reminder around the lines to 
keep our guards endlessly on the alert and to telephone 
immediately danger threatened 

" At 10.30 p.m. on Sunday evening a furious fire was 
opened in our direction from the enem/s lines and a 
rain of projectiles fell about us on every side. For the 



THE SIEGE OF PORTSMOUTH 151 

first time the Germans were using 10.8 in. howitzers, 
weapons similar to those employed by the Japanese 
before Port Arthur. One of my block-houses was 
twice pierced through and through and but for the 
Gommander's (Lieut Birking) forethought in placing the 
ammunition in a bomb-proof cave, a terrible explosion 
would have resulted 

'* For two hours the firing continued and the enemy 
must have discharged many thousand tons of projectiles, 
at us, but the result was not as dreadful as they probably 
anticipated Then came the expected assault I was 
sitting upon an elevated ' look-out ' protected by a 4.7 in. 
gun shield and peering through the darkness to see if I 
could make out anything. 

"Suddenly the guns stopped simultaneously, and 
above the resultant stillness rose the blare of a brass 
band playix^ "Die Wacht am Rhine." Louder it 
soimded and louder, then again died down as the soft 
wind wafted the strains towards us or away from us. 

" They were being led to the attack by Uie bands ! 

" A faint crackling could be heard far below us and an 
occasional muffled command. I had already directed a 
junior to telephone to head quarters and had the satisfac- 
tion of knowing that five thousand additional men were 
being hurried up in support 

"I shall never forget that waiting. Ten minutes 
perhaps in all, yet to me it seemed an age. The signs 
of an approaching force became more frequent and more 
distinguishable. 

" Then came a muttered imprecation, deep and gut- 
tural, an audible tripping and next a wiH unearthly 
shriek. 

" The first of the foe had reached the staked pits ! 

'' Of a sudden a clear white shaft of light cut the air. 



iSa THE WAR INEVITABLE 

painfally searing the eyes by it contrast to tbe sonoitnd- 
ing n^ht Hill-lands Battery had opened the game 
and the assault had begun in all earnestness. Two li^k^ 
glared from my block-houses, a fourth shot day.zling from 
West Marden and yet another flooded the northemiadge 
from East Beacon HilL 

" And what a sight they disclosed I 

"There, less than eight hundred 3rards away, was 
advancing a dense mass of uniformed men-^t tibe 
double. On they came and bravely slashed at tbe ihsukv 
and cast wide boards (brought with them) across tbr 
deadly pits. 

"* But we were now to take a part in the businesa 
Twenty bugles rang out clearly and an inferno of §ae 
swept in deadly unison into the struggling foe. 

" Heavens 1 Shall I ever forget that sight In the full 
glare of a light surpassing that of day, we couM not miss 
the seething waves of humanity and though thousands 
died in the first few moments, their very closeness would ^ 

not let them f alL To go badk they had been forbidden 
—to come forward they found impossible. They .could ' 

but die and bravely did they meet their fate. The 
Crerman General Staff had anticipated a loss of tea j 

tiiousand killed and as many wounded ; the price woiild ! 

have been none too much for the prize gained had the 
movement been successful 

" They hacked and tore, slashed and pulled at the 
deadly restraining strands and ever the leaden hail feH 
on them, widiering themf cutting them, smashing tbeQ]^ 
mutilating them. Their own guns spat vengeance at us 
but with litfle effect beyond the extinguidiing of tuoe 
searchlight At last the foremost pits were all full, aye J i 

and over full a dozen times with blood-streaming coq>ses. Il 

Our own guns turned on an increased volume of shrapnel \ 



THE SIEGE OF PORTSMOUTH 153 

and the enemy's line was almost completely bidden in 
6moke. But in spite even of this heUidi fire, they made 
a certain advance and little by little &e wire-entsmg^- 
ments were being destroyed Then came the most awf td 
feature of that dreadful night A vast upheaval shook 
the grotmd and the whole slope upon which the attackers 
were massed seemed to rise bodily into the air. 

'' A gigantic land-mine had been exploded from HiH- 
lands Battery! 

"Up and up went the earth, smoke and flames 
mingling with the men that had formerly stood these. 
Our own men dropped in a second behind their bomb- 
proofs, but I remained, safe in the shelter of my shiekL 
Shrieks and yells rose above the general turmoil, and 
in the searching beams of the lights I could see a gme* 
some mixture of human remains falhng, far-flung, upon 
die neighbouring hills. God ! to have been spectator of 
that awful sight ! Never can it fade from my memory, 
never be blotted from the mind. Arms, legs, heads 
smacked loudly on the shot-pitted slopes, for noAing 
whole was found, nothing intact, only parts — ^just parts^ 
It is reckoned that at that one explosion seven thousand 
men were hurled into eternity. 

" But it was enough. As suddenly as it had began 
so suddenly did the attack cease and with wild cries of 
terror, the German troops fled headlong back towards 
their covering trenches. Their iron nerves had b een 
broken, their dogged cours^e crushed by the terrible 
ordeal through which they had been forced to pas& 

" As day broke we could see the slaughter for which 
we were responsible. Piled high against the wire^joii«ed 
stakes lay Teuton uniforms, their ghastly bearers seamoil 
and torn by the fierce fire of the preceding night 

" All through that day their giant howitzers cot^hed 



154 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

five hundred pound projectiles into our lines, and all that 
day our own great weapons roared out an answering 
challenge. Salvo on salvo, the never ceasing crash 
tormented the hearing and wore the listener to distrac- 
tion. Then, too, there were the dead to remove from 
our own lines, and eight hundred poor fellows had fallen 
victims to the assaulter's hre. Another thousand -lay 
wounded and these were taken first to Rowlands Castle 
and thence by rail to Portsmouth, where the kindly 
women, who had formed a Red Cross Guild, gave them 
every attention. 

" In the evening, further reserves were brought up to 
us and the supply of ammunition doubled, whilst a 
further three machine guns had been added to my 
position. And this night hand-grenades were served 
out in large quantities, for we knew that another assault 
as determined as the first must bring the enemy well up 
to our earthworks. 

" During the day German troops had been seen, from 
a balloon look-out, pouring into the concentration 
trenches before Linch Down and it was estimated that 
the assault was to be made with at least sixty thousand 
mea Shortly before dark, two-thirds of these had 
massed in the long parallel in the valley at the foot of 
the hill, the remainder being held in reserve. 

"The attack was commenced at 10.30 p.m. by the 
whole of the assaulting divisions advancing towards our 
Kne of earthworks under a terrible fire from our forts 
the effect of which was however somewhat neutralized 
by a terrific bombardment from the Germans. There 
was, as might have been expected, a long delay at the 
line of wire-entanglements and pits, but, in spite of a 
galling and deadly fire, they at last crossed beyond the 
obstructions by three or four gaps and in the full glare 



THE SIEGE OF PORTSMOUTH 155 

of the searchlights, formed up into groups of fifteen men 
or thereabouts. It did not seem possible that the 
intention was to advance up the rugged, shell-torn slopes 
in this close formation, yet this thing they did — the 
black mass of men almost at once moving up towards the 
first line of trenches. They had not gone far before 
they were smitten by a murderous cross rifle fire and the 
men went down, hterally, in scores. 

" Then occurred a scene such as words can never hope 
to describe. For the officers, their naked swords flashing 
in the white rays of concentrated light, called a halt and, 
having been given the words of command as clearly and 
methodically as though upon parade, the massed columns, 
still keeping ranks, poured a dozen volleys into the earth- 
works above them. 

**It was magnificent — ^but nothing more. 

" The poor doomed marksmen could not have hit any- 
thing had they tried their hardest, for we above them 
were at an angle almost impossible to attain by men 
firing standing from ranks. So after the futility of their 
action had been realised, the advance again began under 
a terribly effective fire, until about five thousand of them 
reached a dead angle just under the upper trench line,, 
where there was partial cover. Another thousand 
rushed forward from the still advancing mass and yet 
another thousand — and of each lot perhaps four hundred 
made the shelter of the little hill. For half an hour 
they made similar rushes until at least eight thousand 
were collected in comparative security not four hundred 
yards from oui^ earthworks. 

" Then came the final charge ; if you have seen the 
ants swarming forth at the disturbance of their nes^ 
you can form some idea of the sight that met our eyes 
as these thousands of Germans, cheering and yelling^ 






IS6 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

tore headlox^ up the last few yards of the slope. What 
could Maxims or rifles avail now? They fell in their 
hundreds^ of course, but by sheer weight of numbers 
they still came on, higher and ever higher, until from 
our eight foot works we could distinguish the features 
of the charging foe. 

"Grenades!" 

"A great voice rang out down the line and in a 
moment more the vicious bombs were landix^ amor^t 
the assaulters and exploding with devastating effect 
It only lasted eight minutes^ perhaps less — ^but each of 
our men had had a score of the deadly missiles piled at 
his side and they had worked well in placing them. In 
the close formation the enemy had adopted, half a dozen 
men at a time were torn limb from limb, but more 
horrible was it when the grenades burst on the ground 
and blew off a dozen feet, doii^ Httle damage to the 
remainder. There must have been five hundred subse- 
quently found with their power of walking destroyed 
either at the ankle or the knee. Even so the ofifioeti 
ittged the men forward and at one place close to me 
they reached the wall and a young, clean shaven 
lieutenant leapt nimbly to the top and was being 
followed by half a dozen of his men. 

" He seemed to lead a charmed life and I, fearing his 
bravery might lead to dire consequences for us (and 
having, indeed, twice missed him with my revolver) 
seized a grenade and flung it hard at him. 

" Heavens ! it struck him in the mouth, fairly I 

"A fierce explosion followed and his whole countenance 
was entirely blotted out by a dazzling white light: a 
Azzling hiss rose above the roar and in a moment his 
blood-spouting beheaded trunk fell twisting at my feet 

" His head had been blown completely away ! i 



THE SIEGE OF PORTSMOUTH fs; 

" His comrades fell back — ^two of them dead, and I 
climbed the ridge to see how matters progressed else- 
where. It was only as might have been expected, for 
tbe shattered remnant had broken and gone down hill 
in a mad head-long flight, taking with them in panic 
practically the whole attacking colmnn. But at the 
trenches where tte reserves awaited them, formed up 
with fixed bayonets, ready for the ordei to advance, a 
sadden shame seemed to sweep over them. They 
stopped, turned about and waited — somewhat as lost 
riieep upon a fog-bound hilL 

"They appeared dazed and idiotic — driven thought^ 
less by sheer horror ; some shouldered their rifles and 
trudged manfully up hill again, others flung down their 
arms, and stood listless, unable to act for themselves. 
No attempt was made at formation and the sight was 
pathetic to the last degree. And the fire from our lines 
went on unceasingly whilst these poor men ? — and we all 
pitied them — ^walked aimlessly about knowing not what 
to do. 

" It was at this time that I, through perhaps lack of 
caution, received a bullet through the left shoulder, and 
thcj rest of my narrative is from what I heard and not 
what I myself saw. That night the casualties of our foe 
amounted to eighteen thousand killed and wounded, and 
it was on Tuesday morning that a 380 pound shell 
entered one of their magazines on Colworth Down, the 
explosion involving the deaths of seven himdred men 
who were quartered there. Tuesday was another day of 
continuous bombardment more furious even than on the 
preceding days, and it will be remembered also for the 
attack on Thomey Island under cover of a sea-fog, an 
attack that cost us three hundred and the Germans, who 
had advanced across flat ground, twelve hundred mea 



158 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

Luckily for us the fog had lifted just in the nick of 
time and thenceforth elaborate precautions were taken 
against the recurrence of such an attack. 

''Wednesday nighty the last of the most murderous 
three nights in the history of warfare, the Germans tried 
another method They made a feint against the East 
Beacon Hill to lead us to anticipate a third attack similar 
to the other two, but sent their main forces against Bow 
Hill and Ashdean Forts. In this attack fish-torpedoes 
were used for the first time and very efficient they 
proved, whole columns being mown down by the vast 
explosions they created. No. 13 Block House fired a 
wide-spread land mine and hurled a regiment and a half 
high into the air and in the end, at 3.40 on Thursday 
morning, the attack failed and it was some weeks before 
they dared make a similar attempt 

" Altogether in those three days the casualties to the 
Germans are calculated to have reached, in killed and 
wounded, the enormous total of seventy-three thousand 
men, of whom over two-thirds were killed outright 
We on oiu: side had suffered heavily, but in comparison 
the totals were ridiculously small, the killed amounting 
to two thousand one htmdred and forty odd, and the 
wounded about one thousand five himdred — ^an alto- 
gether disproportionate amount" 



CHAPTER XIX. 
The Kaiser's Decision. 

The Kaiser sat in his study at Potsdam and somewhat 
moodily scanned the reports from his Generals at the 
front He was pale and thin and had obviously not fully 
recovered from his serious illness, during which, (without 
his direct consent,) his country had been rushed into a 
fearful war. Von Bulow, clever man that he had always 
been, had pulled the strings entirely regardless of his 
Imperial master, — ^then convalescent at a villa near Spa 
in Belgium. He had usurped every authority, made 
truth subservient to his desires and finally so influenced 
the Kaiser that on his recovery he, the Kaiser, had per- 
force to support every action of his Chancellor and 
throw himself whole-heartedly into the prosecution of a 
campaign entirely hateful to him. Naturally, since 
matters were beyond repcdr, he could not for his honour's 
sake be laggard in enthusiasm. The die was cast and 
he had burnt his boats, — or had had them burnt for him. 
Yet he was very apprehensive ; it was no good blinking 
facts, — things were not going as well as they might and, 
indeed, if some victory were not very soon reported it 
was quite evident to him that the seething discontent in 
his vast dominion would degenerate into open hostihties 
of a revolutionary character. True, in weighing the pros 
and cons of the case, there was no immediate cause for 
alarm. The recent deal in warships with his ally the 
Czar had added considerably to his fleet, and he saw no 
reason why in the near future the dark cloud of dismal 
failure should not be dissipated by the fair breeze of 
triumphant success. 



i6o THE WAR INEVITABLE 

A great marble clock surmounted the mantel piece 
and glancing up he noted that but two minutes remained 
before eleven* for which hour a meeting of the Imperial 
Secretaries had been summoned A step without 
announced the first arrival, his Chancellor, Prince Von 
Bfilow^ and together the two men strolled towards the 
Council Chamber. Presently &e ministers arrived, all 
weU to time and to the number of fourteen. Taking 
Ids seat at the head of the long polished table, the King 
of Germany commenced the catechism of questions 
which formed the usual order of procedure at these 
flfteetings. After a short address in which he set out his 
views on the situation, he turned to his Chancellor and 
aaked him what opinion he held 

'' Sire, I would not dare to di£Fer from your Majesty 
m the opinion you have so ably expressed, but I venture 
to hope that the views your Majesty holds are somewhat 
pessimistic when aU the circumstances are fully con- 
sidered Let me enumerate them. 

^ We have an undisputed command of the sea, an army 
exceeding in efficiency any in the wide world, a surplus 
of money sufficient for many months to come, a peacefu\ 
relationship with every other power excepting only 
Japcm and, lastly, your Imperial Majesty at the head of 
affiurs as the master mind. More we could not wish. 
Reverses we have suffered of course, and I may even say 
thBt the stubborn resistance of the English has come 
flomewhat as a surprise to us. But that we shall over- 
come that resistance and, once and for all, crush the race 
under whose arrogance and assertiveness we have so long 
been forced to exist; is an absolute certainty to question 
which would be a folly. It is unfortunate that our naval 
reserves are not greater but Herr Admiral von Tirpitz 
has prepared for me a hst of the two navies as they stand 



THE KAISER'S DECISION i6i 

at present, and this list I have the honour to hand your 
Majesty." 

So saying he passed a neatly written foolscap sheet to 
the King who glanced carefully through it As it is of 
great interest, I have reproduced part of it here, and 
from it may be seen the naval position as it existed on 
September 24th. It will be noticed that it gives the 
names of battleships and armoured cruisers with, of the 
former, the tonnages in metric tons. 

Natal Position on Friday, September 24th, 19 — 

England Deutschland 

Battleships ist Class. 

1 Royal Sovereign 14,850 tons 1 Petropaulovsk (new) 19,800 tons 

3 Empress of India U,350 tons 2 Retvisan (new) 19,800 tons 
& Nile ~ 12,180 tons 8 Imp. Pavel I. 17,400 tons 

4 Queen — 15,240 tons 4 Andreie Pervosvanni 17,400 tons 
6 Formidable — 15,240 tons 5 Slava -— 18.516 tons 

6 Venerable — 15.240 tons 6 Czarevitch 18,180 tons 

7 Glory — 18,160 tons 7 Hannover 13,200 tons 

8 Goliath — 13,160 tons 8 Hessen 18,200 tons 

9 Preussen 18,200 tons 

10 Elsass 18,200 tons 

11 Braunschweig 13,200 tons 

12 Zahringen 11.880 tons 

13 Schwaben 11,880 tons 

14 Wittelsbach 11,880 tons 

15 K. Barbarossa 11,150 tons 

16 K. WUhelm der 

Grosse 11,150 tons 

17 K. Friedrich III. 11,150 tons 

18 W5rth 10.060 tons 

19 Weissenbuig 10,060 tons 

Battleships 2nd Class 

NIL 1 Baden 7,870 tons 

2 Wurttemberg 7.870 tons 

3 Bayem 7.870 tons 

4 Sachsen 7,370 tons 

Armoured Cruisers 

1 Leviathan 1 Gromoboi 

3 King Alfred 2 Rossia 



i62 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

£NGiAND D£UTSCHLAND 

3 Aboukir 8 Rurik (new) 

4 Hogue 4 Bayan „ 

6 Bacchante 5 Ad. Makaroff (new) 

6 Monmouth 6 Pallada (new) 

7 Lancaster 7 Scharnhorst 

8 Suffolk 8 Yorck 

9 Friedrich Karl 
10 Prince Heinrich 

This concluded the armoured ships of the first and 
second classes, but further lists were given of coast* 
defence ships, of which Germany had six and we none, 
protected cruisers, scouts, destroyers and other torpedo 
craft It pointed out that " in the above list, the first 
three British battleships are alone intact, and all of these 
are old ; the remaining five were much damaged by our 
fleet in the recent action. The first six battleships and 
the first six armoured cruisers in our column are the 
vessels we purchased from Russia. These are all now in 
commission and at sea. We have no knowledge of the 
progress made in raising the sunken ships at Portsmouth 
but do not anticipate more than three or foiu: being 
efficiently repaired this year." 

The Kaiser handed it back to his Chancellor. 

"That certainly makes me happier, Biilow, for our 
preponderance seems overwhelming. 

" It is even greater than it seems, sire, since three of 
the enemy are shut up in the Thames and the remainder 
are at DevonporL Any force attempting to leave either 
of these places, or Portsmouth, would be at once attacked 
and annihilated by our entire Navy, which can deal with 
any squadron separately with the greatest ease. As to 
the Japanese, they have but ten first-class battleships 
to send against us, and we are fully capable of dealing 
with them and the British forces as well 



THE KAISER'S DECISION 163 

" Very good. We have, I believe, nearly one and a 
half million men in the field; that leaves us with a 
similar number who have imdergone military training in 
Germany. 

" That is so. Sire." 

" Is that number sufficient to command law and order 
within the Empire if their Emperor leaves for the front," 
asked the Kaiser, his chest swelling with self satisfaction 
as he burst his intention upon his astonished ministers 
like a bomb-shell. 

" But, Sire " they all began protesting. 

" No, no, gentlemen, there must be no " buts " please. 
I have decided this matter myself and am not to be 
turned from any course whatsoever when once I have 
made up my mind thereon. I leave for England to- 
morrow in the * Elsass ' with my eldest son." 

Having delivered himself of this, His Majesty waved 
a dismissal and presently he was left alone with his 
Chancellor. When finally the door had closed, the 
Emperor Williain put his arm through that of Prince 
von Bulow in a friendly maimer and asked earnestly : 

" Tell me honestly, Bulow, whether you are not a little 
nervous at our continuous lack of success at Ports- 
mouth?" 

" Your Majesty, as man to man the situation increases 
in gravity day by day, and I applaud your decision to 
go yourself to the front Your presence there may turn 
the tide of disaster, — ^for no other word befits the 
constant terrible repulses to which our troops are 
subjected" 

A knocking at the door here made both of them look 
up. " Herein," said the King, and an orderly stepped 
forward with a message for the Prince. He tore it open 
and bit his lips as he read it 



I64 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

•* Well, BOlow, what is it? Don't be frightened to tell 



me." 



The Chancellor handed him the paper^^^a telegram. 

*' R^[ret report Battleship " Imperator Pavel I." tor- 
pedoed off Bournemouth by British Submarine. Sank 
in eight minutes. Four hundred of crew saved." 

'' Donnerwetter ! these English take a lot of beating," 
the chagrined Kaiser, stamping on the floor. 

They did, indeed 






CHAPTER XX. 
How Submarine B6 went for a Cruise 

It will be remembered that amongst those taking part 
in the destruction of the German torpedo-craft subse- 
quent to their raid on Spithead^ were Lieutenant Nelson 
and Sub-Lieutenant FitzHerbert of H.M. seagoing 
destroyer " Af ridi." Now it chanced that the " Afridi " 
had been selected to lead an attack on the German fleet 
at Portland during the early days of September. The 
enemy had however been fully wide awake and the 
attack failed as had many before it But such an attack 
made by Englishmen, fails for only one reason — ^that 
the attacking ships have all been either sunk or badly 
disabled. 

So, when one morning, the " Afridi " crept alone into 
Portsmouth battered and torn, and bearing very little 
resemblance to her former self, it was conjectured that 
none of her five companions had escaped. The con- 
jecture was perfectly correct and but Aat a lucky fog 
had hidden the " Afridi " as she drifted helpless past 
the zone of fire she would herself have been sent to the 
bottom. Her crew of nearly a hundred had been sadly 
reduced and Lieutenant Nelson made his report with his 
left arm in a sling, whilst his junior was carried ashore 
unconscious. 

Thus two very useful young ofiicers were without a 
berth, and when next day FitzHerbert sat up in bed with 
a head beating like a sledge hammer, (and you're apt to 
get hurt when you tumble ten feet on to a steel deck 
head first) but otherwise Uttle the worse for a decidedly 



i66 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

nasty fall, he communed with Nelson as to the steps 
they should take to obtain another command For a 
bullet through the arm and a bump the size of an orange 
on the back of the head are of no account in the service, 
—certainly nothing to keep a man out of harness. Up 
qpake the Lieutenant: — 

" Say, Fitz, have you ever done any submarining ?" 

''Submarining? Good Gad! you're not going to try 
that game, old man, surely?'' 

" Well I just don't know. You see Pompey*s* very 
slow now that we're cut off and I can't stick land work. 
Too much being hit and too little hitting back for my 
taste you know. And, besides, there's little B6 sitting 
in the Yard fairly itching^to be taken out and here am I 
fairly itching to take her. She's a bit crank I know, but 
I did three years in 'em as a sub., and what I don't 
know I can guess. My only trouble is about you ; we've ' 

been pretty good pals so far and I'd like to see peace in 1 

together. Didn't you tell me you had three months in 
one of the A's?" 

" Not three— only two, but it was devilish tricky while I 

it lasted. We spent most of our time bumping sand* ' 

banks, sinking barges and other weird fish or coming up 
sudden when we wanted to sink." 

'' Nasty,'-dam nasty; still that sort of game is old 
history now and according to rumour there's nothing 
steadier than a submarine in these days. Anyhow if I 
get the hooker, will you join in the fun ?" 

" Snakes, rather. That^ll just suit little Fitz. Give us i 

another twenty-four hours to reduce this beastly bumplet 
and Tm your man." 

" No such hurry, Fitz, as all that. My arm's a bit \ 

dicky pro tem., as the docs, say, and saw-bones the first ^ 

* In the service Portsmouth is known as " Pompey." 



HOW " B6 " WENT FOR A CRUISE 167 

says ' at lea3t a fortnight ' which spells a week, I expect 
Besides the B6 wants overhauling and from dl I hear it 
means ten days 'hammer and wrench' with a little 
skilful commandeering thrown in. Thanks for your 
answer, old chap, it wouldn't have been the same without 
you. So long.** 

Ten days later the two young officers stood on the 
narrow deck of a low free-board fish-shaped craft, an 
ugly hellish affair, frightfully deadly to look at and 
frightfully deadly if efficiently employed. Commander 
Nelson and Lieutenant FitzHerbert (promotion went 
quickly in those days and the gallant pair had done good 
work) were superintending the final touches to the B6 
submarine. There was a dearth of officers fully up in 
this special branch of naval work and when Nelson had 
offered to take out the submarine and do what he could 
to confound Britain^s enemies the Admiral had been 
delighted and gladly had he accepted the offer. Nelson 
had selected his crew with the greatest care and for a 
few days made excursions into the Solent and Spithead 
to accustom them thoroughly to the eccentricities of 
their ship, — ^for every submarine acfa differently and, like 
a high-spirited horse, must be htunoured and gently dealt 
with. Torpedo practice they had, too, and each fish-like 
projectile was run until its errors one way or another 
were fully known. At last the day arrived when Com- 
mander Nelson considered that proficiency in every man 
had reached a point of excellence that a year's practice 
would not surpass. Moreover his arm was well again of 
the bullet wotmd, a smsll pucker alone remaining ; and 
FitzHerbert's cap sat on his head without wobbling, for 
which he was very thankful. 

'* Fitz,** b^an Nelson one dull Thursday afternoon, — 
September 23rd, to be exact — *' are you on for a beano 
to-night?" 



i68 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

''Me?'' queried FitzHerbert somewhat irngram* 
matically, " what sort of beano ?" 

" Oh^ just a mouch round Portland to see if we can 
bag a German sausage as a stuprise for King William 
the 'Sneakond.'" 

"Righto/' came the willing answer; "I 'spose that 
means turning in now and getting to-night's snooze over 
as quick as possible. Better warn the gfiddy crew." 

" All done, me lad, ten minutes ago. They are free 
imtil two bells in the ' first dog/ then its up and away, 
and a bit of grouse shooting with battleships for birds." 

" Cheers, says I ; but why this sudden resolve ?" 

** Papa Groome," (for so they irreverently termed the 
admiral), "told me this morning that six jolly great 
Rooshans had joined the Dutchmen, end that the whole 
bunch are keeping company. So I proposed slipping 
down that way, laying about for a bit, and then firing a 
torpedo into the brown as they left the break-water. 
Ridcy, of course, but still well worth a shoot Up jumps 
Papa and starts wringing my hand for a brave fellow, — 
not bad that, what? So out I come and behold here am 
I, Commander Nelson, R.N., more pleased than a school 
boy going home for his holidays ; but, I say, Fitz, war 
does buck one up no end. I can't keep serious two 
minutes together these days. Well, I'm off to bye-bye. 
' Bong-swar ' until two bells." 

At 5.30 p.m. " B6 " " oiled " slowly down the harbour, 
past the repaired warships, past the grand old " Victory/' 
past the stout log-and-spike boom — ^then away west 
towards Hurst Castle and out into the open seas off the 
bristling Needles. A nasty swell was working in from 
the south and the submarine laboured considerably 
between the successive waves, making it anything but 
pleasant for her occupants. She slogged lumping into 



« 



HOW " B6 " WENT FOR A CRUISE 169 

the green swirls and smacked soundly as she bore 
through and fell lunging into the hollow trough on the 
, further side. She swung, too, like a pendulum, the 

motion seeming to hang round her high conning tower. 
Up she came again out of the sousing brine and drove, 
bluntly, deep into the next curler. Swish, she is past 
and flies dow^n a liquid hill in a smother of spray from 
nose to whirling propeller. Bash, bang, once more 
through a mountain of moving sea, splashing, kicking; 
groaning and jibbing, — a nasty, cross corkscrew motion 
setting teeth on edge and keeping the nerves at a high 
tension. 

Once clear of the Needles "Race," things calmed 
down a bit ; the waves were there still, but they were 
good honest regular waves making no more trouble than 
their size demanded. Occasionally something extra 
^^ bumped the submarine soimdly, setting her end up 

almost dud seating her occupants hard upon the steelen 
floor. 

"Hell," came a muttered imprecation immediately 
after a loud smack as a certain human part sat where 
it was never intended. 

" Steady, Smithson — ^not too much language, please," 
adjured FitzHerbert, who was himself silently cursing 
and rubbing a bruised shin bone. 

" Beg pardin, sir, but I couldemt *elp it I aint used 
ter settin on sharp nut 'eads and I don't take too kindly 
to noo 'abits." 

" Submarinein' aint 'arf beer an' skittels mate, diden' I 
warn yer?" said another sailor, for discipline must of 
necessity be lax where comfort is so little known. 

"You al'ays was a grumbler, Jack, you was. Wot 
f you wants is a bloomin' drorin' room you do, and no 



errer." 



I 



i;o THE WAR INEVITABLE 

** Rot yer silly talk ; you're too funny, mate, you are. 
You jest waits until yer " 

* Hold yer tongues^ you two men," cried Nelson, who 
would not allow any bickering. And for a space it 
went on well as before, the jolting lessening somewhat 
as ihey bore west At 7.30 the motion had become so 
much calmer, that Nelson lifted the hatch and conned 
the vessel from the deck. The wind had dropped and 
the sea, close in as they were to land, was smooth but for 
the long gui^ling swells that took her across the beam. 
So for an hour they ran on at about fourteen knots, 
and then of a sudden the yoimg officer spied a black 
•mudge appearing over the horizon, dead ahead. Two 
minutes' observation was sufficient to assure him it was 
a big ship comii^ towards them. 

" Ease her to five," he yelled down the tube, and the 
r^^ar beat of the great petrol engines fell gradually 
in intensity, her bow-wave subsided and presently the 
* B6 " was barely rippling the surface with her lumbering 



A good ten minutes he held on thus, and by that time 
six other clouds of dirty smoke had joined the first 
Nelson had the engines stopped and " trimmed ship " for 
diving. As the conning tower sank lower and lower 
beneath the surface a thrill of wild expectancy overawed 
all within the curious craft This was a novel experience 
for them ; up till then little had been heard of sub- 
marines and they had fallen into great disfavour. Now 
an opportunity presented itself to redeem that reputation 
upon which the sltir of inefficiency had so unjustly been 



FitzHerbert looked askance at his senior and asked 
him in a husky voice, — husky he knew not why, 
* Whaf s your idea for attack, skip ?" 



HOW " B6 " WENT FOR A CRUISE i;i 

Nelson seemed wonderfully calm and collected, and 
for a moment did not reply. Then he said : 

" Ifs like this. If we trust to that tube "— nodding 
towards the optical periscopic apparatus — "we shall 
probably miss our ship. If we are close enough and are 
on the surface, it's a million pounds to a hayseed we hit 
her. But, on the other hand, in the latter event if s ten 
to one they will hit us. Personally I'd run the risk, — 
how would the men take it T* 

The men had been listening with strained ears and 
for a few moments whispered together. Then came up 
a burly fellow and put the opinion of his mates and 
himself to his officers in a few concise words. 

" Beggin' your pardin, sir, but if so be we can sink a 
Rooshaa we, meanin' me and them there," with a jerk 
of an oily thumb over his shoulder, " don't want you for 
to think of us in the matter;, we ain't chickens, and 
anythink you does will be what we likes." 

"God bless you for that, Robson, — and thank you> 
men, all. I propose lying right in their path with the 
conning tower a few feet above the surface, and jtxst 
sufficient weigh on for steering purposes. In this dusk 
they probably won't see us, for I much doubt if they 
anticipate danger, — and that means a slack watch in 
foreign vessels. At the right time I shall call for all 
speed and we'll go bald-headed at them, — I conning her 
from the deck. At five hundred yards and if possible 
nearer, I shall let fly at the most convenient enemy, drop 
inside, close down, sink to sixty feet and steer directly 
south out to sea if the way is clear. If I'm hit, LieuL 
FitzHerbert will take command and endeavour to carry 
out the same plan, and if he falls too, you Robson are 
to carry on and make your way back to Portsmouth and 
report immediately. Is that clear?" 



1/2 1 HE WAR INEVITABLE 

" Aye, aye, sir," came the chorus. 

" Now, get ready, and await the word, since they are 
closing us fast" 

The seconds dragged on leaden wings, — ^interminable 
were the few moments before the crucial moment 
arrived. At last it came. Nelson caught his breath, 
gave one glance at the manometer and then shouted : 

" Up with her and switch the current on." 

A loud crackling came from the stem and a strong 
smell of ozone filled the interior. Almost at once the 
submarine, driven with maximtun power, felt the lift of 
the rudders ; taking a steep slant, she slid out into the 
open. In a trice the hatch was fltmg back and Nelson 
stepped quickly outside, shutting the hatch behind him. 

He had risen in the very midst of a fleet of fourteen 
ships, — one great vessel ploughing by not forty yards 
from his starboard quarter. He heard bugles and 
rattling chains, hoarse shouts and excited orders, — ^but 
heeded none of them. 

His eyes were fixed on one thing, — a great funnelled 
leviathan towering high above the others in its immen- 
sity. Huge guns had she, pointing in every direction 
but despite this, on seeing her little foe she yawed to 
port and tore blindly across the submarine's bows. A 
twist of the wheel and " B6 " swimg to starboard thus 
bringing the giant battleship directly ahead and at no 
greater distance than three hundred yards. 

"Fire!" he yelled. "Fire!! in Heaven's name, 
Fire ! ! !" and rattled the telephone in a frenzy. But he 
had no need to fear ; at his first word, a dull cough 
shook the fabric beneath him. " B6 " gave a momentary 
upward kick, — ^and a torpedo was speeding at thirty-five 
knots towards the enemy. 

All this happened in a few seconds only, perhaps 



HOW " B6 " WENT FOR A CRUISE i;3 

forty. Then came a grufiF report from the foe, followed 
almost immediately by the rattling spit of machine-gun 
fire. 

Nelson felt something seize him violently, bear him 
twirling aloft into a world of hazy visions teeming with 
golden palaces and winged angels ; then again he saw 
the stricken battleship, but painted in irridescent colours 
and floating unsteadily on a deep crimson cloud ; he lost 
knowledge of time and place and, looking down, saw 
naught of the body that had once been his. Yet a 
persistent drum twanged loudly somewhere and thumped 
maddeningly at his shattered thoughts. A f amihar voice 
came through these misty, disconnected ramblings, 
urging him to hold on just one second, then more words, 
words, words. — " Well done, old man," it shouted, and 
" Steady, Robson, he's hit badly," again a weird con- 
glomeration of words and visions; lastly a sudden 
clearing and he saw it alL 

The submarine was wallowing idly on the dark oily 
sea and he lay stretched upon its confined deck, sup- 
ported by FitzHerbert and Robson, who were preparing 
to lift him up the iron grid steps and carry him below. 
She had drifted from the immediate scene of action but 
about half a mile away he saw a huge ship, obviously in 
a sinking conditon and surrounded by a crowd of boats 
and launches. As he looked and breathed he felt hot 
gushes of blood rising in his throat and struggled for 
breath manfully. One more look at his work, — an 
inferno of steam hid all, — ^the ship had sunk! Again 
his head swam and he fell back supremely happy and 
as he lapsed into unconsciousness he cried with failing 
voice, " I have done it, my God ! I have done it" 



«< 



CHAPTER XXL 
The Peril of EnglancL 

S.M.S. Hannover. 



" Portland, 

" September 25th, 190—. 
^ Mein Lieber Otto, 

" At last I have time to send you a letter 
about our doings. We are not quite so cheerful with 
the way events are marching as we should like and our 
recent loss of the ' Imperator Pavel I.' came as a most 
unpleasant surprise to us. Indeed, for my part, it is an 
experience I shall remember for the rest of my mortal 
life and how I escaped at all still remains for me a 
complete mystery. You will see I am in the * Hannover ' 
and rather cramped I find her after my poor last .ship. 

" But to the story, for doubtless you would like to have 
it from an eye-witness. As you must have heard, we 
have converted Portland into our chief naval base and 
very admirably it answers our purpose. It has been our 
custom to send out squadrons of ships to patrol the coast 
from Portland, and as for some months no attempts upon 
us have been made by the enemy we became, I regret 
to say, rather daring and indeed considered our work 
.almost superfluous from the utilitarian point of view. 
Still, you must not think we were in any way lax — ^we 
love our old Father-land too much for that It is just 
two days ago that the Admiral told off two divisions, 
composed each of four battle-ships and two armoured 
cruisers, with two of the small protected type attached 



THE PERIL OF ENGLAND 175 

for out-scouting work, to patrol the coast around Ports- 
mouth, and we set sail in company for our cruising 
ground. In the first division were ourselves, the new 
' Retvisan/ * Hannover ' and * Hessen,' with the ' Bayan ' 
and * Pallada ' ; we were steaming fourteen knots in two 
coltmins of line ahead disposed to port The sea which 
had been nasty on starting, toned down as evening came 
on, and the sun set behind a perfectly level horizon,^* 
though what that has to do with the story, goodness only 
knows. It was my watch and I was up on the flying- 
bridge above the chart house. 

"We had given up keeping the men at their guns 
until the light altogether fails, because it had merely 
proved a waste of valuable energy and, often as not; 
they have loosed ofiF at waves or shadows under the 
impression a torpedo attack was being made, and that 
sort of thir^ is scarcely good for the nerves. We had 
been cruising very quiedy thus when one of the look-out 
called my attention to something about three miles ahead 
on the surface of the water ; he thought it looked like 
a barrel. But on looking through my glass I could see 
nothing and rated him for his falsity of vision. I have 
no doubt now it was the conning-tower of the submarine, 
but as it was rapidly growing dark, and heavy clouds 
obscured all the Ught from above, it is not unnatural I 
regarded his being deceived as probable. 

" Then came the surprise. Ten minutes had scarcely 
elapsed when the same man gave a wild shout and 
pointed a few hundred yards ahead, where a huge swirl 
could be seen rapidly growing on the surface of the 
water. In less than a moment this broke into waves and 
out shot the entire body of an immense submarine at 
full speed. A yell of horror on all sides and, though it 
pains me to confess it, for a moment I verily believe we 
all lost our senses. 



176 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

''I bawled the necessary orders to swing the helm 
hard over to ram the hellish thing if possible. But our 
helmsman misconstrued my order and put her wrong 
way about, thus presenting our broadside to the devilish 
foe. 

''No sooner had she broken free than the lid was 
slung back from the conning-tower and, with the coolest 
possible assurance, out jumped a d d English officer 
and conned his craft from the narrow deck in the sight 
of us alL To me on the bridge it seemed ages before 
either side gave a sign but at last, and it was not more 
than a few seconds after first sightii^ the enemy, a 
three-potmder spoke but went well wide, very nearly 
hitting the 'Hessen.' Immediately after came the 
rattle of machine guns, but I had seen the officer bend 
over the tube of the telephone and knew the fatal order 
had been given. His ship jumped spasmodically and a 
torpedo leapt out of the water twice in its short passage 
towards us. It could scarcely have found its depth 
before it struck, and as I felt the shock I saw the 
Englishman (and Gottes Himmel I his was a brave act) 
stumble forward and he prone upon the steel floor of 
the submarine. She had a large B and the figure 6 
painted on her conning-tower and in the bows. Then 
up came another officer, almost a boy, followed by a bull- 
necked sailor and the B6 swung around and sped off 
towards the land where, after carrying the woimded 
commander below, they sank and doubdess made good 
their escape, since so occupied were we all with our own 
vessel we gave little thought to our small destroyer and 
in the flurry she disappeared, as far as I know, unscathed. 

" But what of the ' Pavel I.' you will ask ? Ah, Otto^ 
to write of her almost makes me weep. We had been 
struck fair in the centre between two compartments and 



THE PERIL OF ENGLAND i;; 

these flooded in a trice and the pressure of water 
speedily burst five more. Eight minutes' grace was all 
we were allowed before the water finally closed over 
one of the finest and most powerful of our war-ships. 
And over half the crew went down with her, as also 
eighteen officers. It has been a great blow to us all and 
a feeling of depression, a very dangerous feeling, is 
taking the place of the elation we have all felt until now. 

" Well, Otto, that is my story. Doubtless you have 
seen fuller details in the papers— for the present I have 
not the desire to describe the heartrending and horrible 
scenes I witnessed that evening. They really were too 
ghastly for words to picture. I suppose we must have 
our ups and downs, but I scarcely see the * walk-over * 
we were led to anticipate. By the bye, it is rumoured, 
though I do not know on what authority, that the 
* Dreadnought ' is afloat again and has been repaired and 
is ready for sea once more. If so we must anticipate 
some hard knocks sooa 

'' Is it true that the Kaiser is coming to help us ? I 
hope so, as his presence would give us just the fillip we 
require, and we do want some bucking up, I assure you. 
A general assault took place on Portsmouth last night 
and it is hoped the first line of fortifications will have 
been breached. It will prove a difficult task, since these 
Englishmen fight like demons and we have lost nearly 
eight men to their one I am told. That we shall 
eventually win we none of us doubt for a moment, but 
these reverses are far from good for the morale of our 
men. 

" This letter must end now, old friend, for the post boat 
leaves in two minutes and I want you to get this as soon 
as possible — ^it is fulfilling my old promise of one letter 
a week, and I r^;ret I should on two occasions have 
broken it l 



178 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

"* Kind greetitigs to the wife of your heart and my 
brave little God-son and with best affection, 

" Your devoted 

" Bruno von Ehrenfeld.** 

Thus did the news of the great disaster to Germany's 
naval forces reach a well-known Teuton citizen and the 
effect may well be imagined. And on Friday morning 
of September 24th, the watdiers on Victoria Fort saw a 
small ship rolling slowly in on the early tide. B6 drew 
up alongside the floating dock behind Block House 
Battery and disgorged a weary crew bearing tenderly 
and with infinite care the unconscious form of 
Commander Nelson. Lieutenant Fitz-Herbert followed, 
also under assistance, with his left arm in a sling and 
his head bound up. But they came with good news to 
a town oppressed with bad news, — ^for the outer line of 
defences had at last fallen before the terrible onslaughts 
of a far more numerous foe. 

And Nelson was taken to the Hospital and guarded 
with loving care — ^f or him the remainder of the war was 
to have no interest ; five times had he been hit and yet 
he lived to tell the tale and, moreover, to receive a well- 
merited reward for it Beside him there sat all day a 
tender young nurse, nurse by voluntary desire — and a 
royal princess. Princess Alexandra, distracted by the 
lack of news of the man she loved so dearly, had sought 
a solace in the strenuous organisation and whole-hearted 
support of the Ladies' Red Cross Society. And when 
the capture of Portsmouth became the obvious aim of 
the enemy, she cojirageously insisted upon being there 
amongst ihe men of the sea — ^the sight of uniforms and 
ships comforted her, and she loved that brine-scent 



THE PERIL OF ENGLAND 179 

spread so lavishly along the English coasts. Behind it 
all lurked a thought, to which perchance the wish had 
been the father, that the ship in which her husband 
served might come in, either as prize or victor ; and be 
it which it may, she would be there to bid him welcome 
to her heart. 

And so she had waited and worked and watched, ever 
hoping, ever praying. How she attended the wounded 
can be told by them only ; no such tenderness of feeling, 
so exquisite a grace and compassion had ever lightened 
the convalescense of an injured man or cheered the last 
moment of a departing soul Nelson came in, insensible, 
unseeing, but covered with a great glory worthy the name 
be bore ; straightway went the Princess and demanded 
the right to make him her especial charge, — ^and Fitz- 
Herbert also came into her sphere of governance and 
care ; for a bullet through the arm and a damaged ear 
required some Uttle rest 



Yes, the outer defences had at last been pierced The 
assault of the night before, in spite of gigantic losses to 
both sides, had proved successful for the Germans, and 
many thousand Teuton fighting men were being poured 
into the hardly gained breach to consolidate the position 
thus captured Over sixty thousand paid the toll in 
that one night on the two sides, yet to the enemy the 
gain was fully worth the sacrifice. Glad were the 
invaders at this success, — ^and the news was cabled 
hurriedly to the Fatherland, for there a little encourage- 
ment was badly needed Yet if the defence had been 
stubborn before, the energy displayed therein now was 
more than redoubled and the " walk-over ** anticipated 
was destined never to come off. For against the inflow- 
ing troops every available man was sent who could be 



l8o THE WAR INEVITABLE 

spared from other work. Moreover an extra five 
thousand men were despatched from the Dockyard to aid 
iheir fellows, for the number of ships raised and repaired 
was sufficient for the needs of Sir John Angler, though 
many finishing touches had to be given ere they, as a 
squadron, could be declared ready for sea. 

Amongst those quite complete was H.M.S. " Dread- 
nought," and she, in consort with half a dozen others, 
lay moored alongside the Railway jetty, stray wisps of 
steam flickering around her great, squat funnels. Steam 
was kept up in all, indeed, arable of moving, for as a 
last resource the ships would have made out to sea and 
given battle tvithout awaiting final preparationa But 
the time had not yet come for striking a last blow at the 
enemy — ^the Admiralty were possessed of information 
which if acted upon at the right moment would ensure 
success for the British arms. And of this information 
the Germans would also appear to have had an inkling, 
so the situation resolved itself into a continuous and 
desperate struggle for the last trick in this great world 
drama. 

And the trump card was the Japanese Fleet 

If the fortress fell within three days, the British naval 
remnants would be forced to fly and face imaided the 
numerically superior forces of the enemy, — ^with the 
pretty certain result of absolute annihilation. But if the 
town could hold out a litde longer, the Js^anese fleet 
would arrive upon the scene to help their sorely pressed 
allies, and of a certainty turn the balance in favour of 
Great Britain. 

In other parts of England matters were also going 
badly. Squadrons of German vessels had made a tour 
of the coasts and, finding landing in most cases an 
impossibility, had bombarded the sea-port towns, causing 



THE PERIL OF ENGLAND i8i 

an immense amount of damage to property and. killing 
many thousand innocent people. The British defence, 
too, had fallen back towards the west, even the splendid 
organisation of Lord Kitchener proving futile against the 
tremendous onslaught of vastly stronger forces, with a 
far higher military training. And worse still, a further 
army corps had succeeded in effecting a landing on the 
Suffolk coast and had there securely established itself 
until re-enforcements and stores in sufficient quantity 
could arrive and allow of an advance southwards to press 
London from the north. 

But far away in the northern counties men were 
drilling and shooting, — shooting always and at all 
distances. Rifie clubs joined forces under experienced 
officers and daily these men, toilers for their livelihood in 
times of peace, were becoming more and more soldierly, 
more and more a danger to the invader and a hope for 
their country. Yet the time had not yet come. To 
hurl raw levies against the stolid, life-drilled Teutons 
would have been worse than useless ; England had to 
suffer, — suffer and wait — ^wait and hope. 

In the midst of all this uncertainty a piece of news 
reached the ears of Admiral Angler — Marconied in a 
cypher that he alone could read to the signal-station at 
Portsmouth. And gallant Sir John whistled aloud and 
commenced a sort of cake-walk round the little circular 
table — then re-read the cypher and s^^ain whistled 

After a moment's thought he rang a bell, and an orderly 
having presented himself. Sir John Angler handed him a 
hastily written note to be taken with all speed to Captain 
Madden of H.M.S. " Dreadnought" In fifteen minutes 
this well-known officer made his appearance. 

"When can you start on — shall we say — a scouting 
expedition. Captain Madden ?" 



l82 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

" Give me two hours, Sir John, and we can get away at 
any speed you wish." 

" Good Well then, in two hours the '* Dreadnought *' 
and six destroyers are to leave the harbour preceeded by 
four mining vessels. Indeed, you had better set them 
to sweeping the passage at once, since this matter is of 
too great importance to risk an accident I do not 
anticipate that any mines other than our own have been 
laid down, our watch has been too good ; but we must 
take no chances." 

And the people of Portsmouth received a shock when 
they saw the "Dreadnought** and her six satelUtes 
steaming alone out towards the open sea. 

But greater surprises awaited them! 

And greater surprises awaited the Germans!!! 



CHAPTER XXII. 

The Dreadnought shows her Teeth 

Have you ever seen the " Dreadnought?" 
No? Well, then, you have little idea of this vessel 
and the mere mention of her name carries no more with 
it than the thought of something huge that floats. It is 
now five years since the Russo-Japanese War and during 
that lime the experience then gained has been put into 
practice. Of the experience from the land-fighting, 1 
will hot speak ; but of the sea a word may well be said 
Capital ships (as experts are wont to call all vessels meet 
to lie in line) had, until the year 1904, been of one set 
type— though differing one from the other in minor 
essentials. And this type embodied in a hull of between 
13,000 and 16,000 tons, a solid armour protection, a speed 
in the region of 18 kts. ; and lastly an armament of four 
heavy guns and a dozen or more of intermediate size. 

Then came Togo's battle of August loth, 1904, and 
May 27th, 1905, when, in the Battle of the Sea of Japan, 
the Russian Fleet was either sunk or captured by their 
veteran yellow foe-men. In these actions the big guns 
told and the smaller weapons proved comparative failures. 
As a result the ideas of naval constructors underwent a 
profound change, — ships must in future carry nothing in 
the nature of a secondary armament, the main armament 
being vastly increased. A Committee on Designs was 
formed in England under the Presidency of Sir John 
Angler and of it were all the famous scientific naval 
experts of the day. They talked and talked and talked, 
— and then decided. 



1 84 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

Sir Philip Watts, the Director of Naval Constractioii« 
had had an idea. The idea he propounded to his 
colleagues on the Committee, — and tibey were sceptical 

" It can't be done,*' said one. 

" The speed will never be made," cried another. 

" The hull can't stand the strain of so many heavy 
guns," blurted a third. But Sir Philip stuck to his 
IDEA. 

The IDEA was as followa 

''I will design, build and put into commission in sixteen 
months a vessel of over 18,000 tons displacement, capable 
of steaming at least 21 kts: and having a broadside fire 
of 8-12 in. guns and a fore and aft fire of 6 weapons of 
similar calibre. She shall be immune from torpedo 
attack, proof against all guns at 7fiOO yards range and 
with the means of steaming to Canada and back on a 
single load of fuel" 

Now Sir Philip was no novice, — ^Japan owed him a 
debt for the ships she possessed. And so at Portsmouth 
the " Dreadnought " was laid down. She was launched 
in February, 1906 — ^five months cmly on the stocks, mark 
you ! — ran her trials in October and November of ihe 
same year and in the first month of 1907 went forth as 
flagship of the Home Fleet under H.S.H. Prince Louis 
of Battenberg. 

Then came the Review and the attack. A month,-^ 
and the " Dreadnought " was ready for fight, — '' looking 
for trouble " her men said. 

For a day the huge ship steamed slowly east, her 
smaller brethren, the destroyers, spread out in advance 
over a very wide area of sea, covering, indeed, a line of 
ninety miles, though this narrowed as they closed up 
towards the Straits of Dover. Sir John, who was on 
board, sat in the captain's cabin forward of the conning 



" DREADNOUGHT '» SHOWS HER TEETH 185 

tower and read Mahan's latest book for the third time. 
Yet his thoughts were not in his task ; they lay concen- 
trated upon the wireless telegraphic machine at which 
an operator was constantly stationed. He was taking 
a very big risk, he knew, — but the prize he had come for 
was well worth it It may be suggested that, since four 
or five more ships were in every way ready for sea, he 
might have come out with a powerful squadron to carry 
out his object, — ^whatever it was. 

But Sir John remembered that engines were never 
infallible, and the breaking down of a single ship must of 
necessity jeopardize the whole, unless the damaged 
vessel were left to the mercy of the enemy. The 
"Dreadnought" was fitted with turbine engines and 
these could be well relied upon to stand any strain; 
moreover, alone she could rim away from any German 
battleship, if need be, and could blow to pieces any 
armoured cruisers capable of catdung her. The 
destroyers, by reason of their great speed, could easily 
escape any hostile craft, though should one by chance be 
stmk or captured the loss would be trifling. Therefore 
had he brought them to scout for him in preference to 
cruisers of a more valuable nature, and not so fast 

On the second day, as calm and smooth as when he 
started, Sir John was standing on the star-board observa- 
tion tower, scanning the clear-cut horizon with his 
glasses. The warship was slicing the oily swells with 
imperceptible motion, for the speed had been reduced to 
twelve knots, — ^as much to ease the destroyers as any- 
thing else. Towards eleven o'clock a messenger rushed 
post-haste up to him and saluted. 

" The ' Ghurka ' is speaking us, sir." 

Down shpped the Uttle, old sailor, a broad smile of 
satisfied expectancy spreading over his wizened featureSb 
And on a slate he read this message. 



186 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

" Five ship^s steaming due east at speed Am closing 
to investigate.** 

Eight minutes of intense excitement passed, and again 
die instrmnent spoke its news, 

'One battleship of ' Deutschland ' type and four 
smaller vessels.** 

And again in three minutes 

' Small ships are cruisers of ' Hertha ' class." 

'B^;gar my eternal soul,*' yelled the Admiral to 
Captain Madden, " if the fools are not running to meet 
me. Is all ready to give them a warm welcome ?** 

*• Aye, that it is. What range would you like as a 
start?** 

*• Say, ten thousand yards and then close to seven, — 
tmt not nearer, mind. By the bye, stop as many of the 
cruisers as possible; indeed, I think we should disable 
all of them or we shall be having the whole German 
fleet down on top of us.'* 

"I'll see that the best is done. Sir John. Shall I 
order the other destroyers to close us as quickly as 
possible ?** 

** Yes, but they are not to take part in the action." 

In fifty minutes the look-out in the telemeter platform 
saw three destroyers tearing at over thirty knots back to 
the parent ship — ^then a fourth, then a fifth and lastly a 
siscth. But as the latter came in sight a smudge of 
smoke appeared over the horizon ahead and presently 
the enemy's craft could be distinguished speeding 
towards them. 

"This will be a pretty game^ Madden, will it not?** 
cried the smiling Admiral across the breeze, now 
augmented by the twenty knot speed of the battleship. 

" Aye, aye sir, — ^but devilish poor fun for the Germans, 
if our gunners keep their heads." 



« DREADNOUGHT " SHOWS HER TEETH 18/ 

By this time the Teuton ships had risen above the 
horizon and were nearly within range of their English 
foe. They steamed in curious formation. First were 
two three funnelled cruisers of about 6,000 tons, — fine, 
weatherly ships, well armed but poor in speed Behind 
them ploughed a great battleship bristhng with gtm- 
turrets and with smoke pouring in clouds from the three 
immense smoke-stacks between the towering military 
masts. Behind, another pair of cruisers of a type similar 
to the first 

" Good odds, five to one," muttered Sir John as he 
made a small calculation on the comer of a chart The 
calculation was the following : 

I Ship, 18,000 tons 5 Ships, 37,000 tons 

Speed 11} knots Speed 18 knots 

Guns, 10— i2-in BX. Guns, 4 — ii-inB.L. ^ 

ay— 3 in Q.F. 8— 8.2-in Q,F. 

14 — 6.7-in Q.F. 
32— S-9-in Q.F. 
52— 3.4-in Q.F. 

Nationality. English. Nationality, German. 

'' That last detail makes things more equal," he said 
as he smudged the figures with a piece of indiarubber. 

" Getting into range, sir," said a voice. 

Sir John was up on deck in a trice. No conning 
tower below decks for Aim — ^he must see whafs goiog 

OIL 

The four hostile cruisers had steamed between the two 
battleships as though to protect the German vessel^ 
which was seen to be making away at full speed. 

" D— d plucky that. Madden " said Sir John, on 
remarking the manoeuvre, — ^"they have no armour to» 
face our heavy metaL" 



|88 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

'' There would almost seem to be some reason for it, 
Sir John. I should think they either have someone on 
board that battleship who is important, or else her 
captain is a cowardly skunk." 

" Captain, I'll let you into a secret That ship is the 
' Elsass.' " 

" Yes, — and ! — " queried the Captain. 

" The Kaiser is on board ! ! " 

" Good Lord ! but we may kill him ?'* 

" We must take the risk. But tell the men not to aim 
further aft than the main-mast" 

Two minutes of suspense and then came a resounding 
crash. 

Bo — o— o— m! Boom— om— oom! ! ! 

(" Cricky ! lucky the old 'un served out waddin' fer our 
ears, ain't it, Bill," yelled an excited Marine.) 

Six great shells weighing each 850 lbs. sped away ; 
three smashed crackling into two of the cruisers. 

•* Beggar the fools " cried Sir John, stamping angrily 
on the deck, " three misses after all our training !" 

Boom! B0--0 — o— om! ! Bo— oom! ! ! 

Another six, — ^and this time five fair hits. The 
*" Freya," the first cruiser, sank spouting ; three shells 
had found her, of which two had landed in the engines 
and magazines. The " Hertha " shivered in her path, 
rolled, jumped forward again and stopped for goo4 — 
with a nasty list to port The " Vineta " was making 
circles with steam pouring from huge gaps where her 
foremost fimnels had once been. Her main-mast was 
lying across the after-most gun-barbette and it was 
evident she was completely done for. 

The fourth cruiser was speeding after the battleship 
towards the land, — now just visible above the horizon. 
Signalling to the destroyers to attend to the two disabled 



■Mta^Al 



" DREADNOUGHT " SHOWS HER TEETH 189 

ships, the *' Dreadnought " went full steam ahead for the 
flying enemy. A word was sent down to the gunners 
of the fore-barbette. 

"Stop that adjectived cruiser, sir? yes sir, certainly, 
sir.'* 

P.O. Moggins sighted his gun and loosed off. 

Missed! 

"Cock-eyed idiot," complimented a neighbouring 
snotty, with withering contempt 

P.O. Moggins wiped a grimy arm across his perspiring 
brow, cursed liberally, and bejgan over again. 
Bang! 

A sheet of flame hid the cruiser for a short secon<!^^^ 
and then gave way to a vast impenetrable cloud of steam 
and smoke. The missile had hit her under the counter 
as she lifted on a swell and had carved a way right 
through to the engine room, exploding in the after-most 
group of Belleville boilers. 

P.O. Moggins shook hands in silence with a loader 
and spat lustily on a bleeding scratch along his muscular 
arm. 

" Got the blighter fair, mate." 

" Aye, — gave 'im *ell it seems, thanks be !" 

" Wot oh ! cocoa-nuts noaw ? Ladies 'arf way and all 
bad nuts returned — ^I don'i think ! !" 

" Close yer mouth, fat 'ead and get to work.'* 

It will be noticed that no mention has been made of 
damage received by the " Dreadnought " ; the reason is 
simple, — she had only been hit Ave times by the cruisers 
and each of these fell upon her Ihickly armour-clad 
sides. She had been fought well outside the range of 
their pop-guns, (they were little more at 9,000 to 10,000 
yards) but where her own weapons told with devastating 
effect 



190 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

But now the time had come to close up. To fire at 
the stem of the " Elsass ** would have endai^ered the 
life of the august passenger, — and that Sir John Angler 
did not wish. So at nearly twenty-two knots the 
•• Dreadnought '* sped along and every minute diminished 
the distance between the two ships, for the " Elsass " was 
heavy laden and thick be-weeded and scarce did seven- 
teen knots as against the 18.7 she had accomplished on 
trial 

In an hour they had closed to four miles and here the 
German battleship commenced a steady fire at her 
inexorable enemy. Boom ! went her big eleven inchers 

and Boom! they went, Presently a crash 

sounded somewhere astern and Sir John was told a shell 
had burst against the after conning-tower. 

Eight killed and five wounded 

Crash! ! a second great steel projectile gnawed into 
the hard plate of the centre barbette. 

Sir John grated his- teeth and asked for the range: 

" Five thousand eight hundred," came the answer. 

" At five thousand give her six in the centre," said Sir 
John, and at the earnest entreaty of Captain Madden he 
went below to the conning tower. 

One minute, — ^two minutes, — ^three minutes ; quite an 
eternity it seemed 

Six simultaneous explosions resounded above and a 
vast shock went hurrying through the water. Five 
crashes rang snappily across the still water. 

The Admiral was on deck in a moment and looked to 
where the German ship should be. A huge wall of white 
smoke with darting tongues of flame was all he could see. 
Then it died down and the " Elsass " showed up. 

A small white ball swung hastily up the only remaining 



" DREADNOUGHT " SHOWS HER TEETH 191 

halyard, — ^the Germans had seen the eight huge twelve 
inch guns being again trained upon their stricken ship. 

She had surrendered. 

A wild Hurrah ! burst from the crew of the ^ Dread- 
nought," but the Admiral knew his work had little more 
than commenced and with set face ordered the motor-gig 
to be lowered 

Just as he was leaving, a signal came from a destroyer 
to the wireless operator reporting a large fleet of ships 
steaming east at great speed, from the direction of 
Portsmouth. As he stepped down the gangway he gave 
some final directions to the Captain. 

" Have the ship swobbed fore and aft, ventilate her all 
you can* make tibe men eat a rattling good meal — ^and 
don't forget the guard of honour." 

Arrived at the "Elsass," Admiral Angler sprang 
nimbly on board 

" I wish to see the Captain," he said to a petty officer 
who received him. 

" Er ist tod, Herr Admiral." 

" Then the Commander I" 

" Er ist auch tod, Herr." 

" The First Lieutenant is surely unharmed ?" queried 
the gallant sailor, abashed at this unexpected tidings. 

" Nein, Herr, er ist tod" 

" Then who is the senior officer ?" 

And a yoimg lieutenant who had hastily gone below 
to change, as he explained^ his soiled tuuform, come 
forward 

" His Majesty the Kaiser must come with me at once,** 
* said Sir John without further preliminaries. 

" But, — ^but — '* began the officer, 

''I said — at once, repeated the Admiral with stem 
insistance. " If within ten minutes I do not leave here 



192 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

with the Kaiser, this ship and all on board will be sunk, 
— myself included'* 

The Lieutenant understood. 

** Very good, sir." 

For six minutes Sir John waited, and spent his time in 
examining the damage wrought by the fire of the 
''Dreadnought'* The "Elsass" lay over upon her 
starboard side and swung heavily to the recurrii^ swells. 
The entire centre upon that side had been blown away, 
five 6.7 in. quick firers and eight smaller guns had been 
destroyed, whilst the engines and boilers were irreparably 
damaged Two f tmnels had gone and the third was 
cut in half near the top. The fore-mast had fallen on 
the fore-castle^ e£Fectually putting out of action that pair 
of II inch guna Of the 700 officers and men, 180 had 
been killed outright (a magazine having exploded under 
die conning tower) and two hundred were wounded 
Never had so much damage been caused in a ship and it 
was evident that she would never again have a value as 
a fighting unit 

Sir John had been thinking as he looked at the awful 
rents he had caused At first he had desired to take 
her to Portsmouth as a prize, but on second thoughts he 
decided it were better to let her remain where she was. 
She could neither fight nor steam, — and certainly he did 
not want the crew at Portsmouth as prisoners. A step 
aroused him from his reverie and he turned round, 

** Your Majesty, it is my regrettable privilege to make 
you a prisoner of war," and he bowed to the Kaiser, who 
stood proudly before him. 

** I am, of necessity, at your service, Admiral/' replied 
the Kaiser, — and in thirty seconds the launch was speed- 
ing back to the British battleship, the German Lieutenant 
havix^ been told that instructions would be signalled 
him later. 



" DREADNOUGHT " SHOWS HER TEETH 193 

Sir John had a few minutes discussion with Captain 
Madden and presently the signals were being made in 
the international code. 

As the Teuton Lieutenant read them, his face became 
ashen white, 

"We have no further need of you You may join 
your friends as soon as you can." And the " Dread- 
nought " was abready doing 20 knots. 

A midshipman gasped in relief, "Poor fools, fancy 
letting us go like that!'' then he chanced to see his 
companion's face, 

" Himmel ! What is the matter with you ?" 

The senior caught his breath and tried to control his 
feelings ; then he stammered^ — 

" But we are doomed, — doomed When I said I was 
changing my tunic I in reality went below and opened 
the water-cocks to prevent our capture,— and we — are — 
sinking — now I ! !" 

It was only too true. The ship had already sunk about 
two feet and was momentarily getting lower and lower 
in the water. Worse still, the "Dreadnought" was 
growing ever smaller on the horizon, Admiral Angler 
having no knowledge of the German's foolish act Again 
not a boat would swim and perhaps more dreadful still, 
amongst those on board was the Kaiser's eldest son! 
His Majesty had pmposely left him on board hoping by 
saying nothix^ that he might escape and little guessing 
he was thus in all probability dooming him to death. 

A man rushed on deck. It was the Prince. The 
Lieutenant told him his story and how he had hoped the 
^ Dreadnought " would take them in tow and, on seeing 
their sinking condition, rescue all on board The Prince 
was a brave man, but his iron nerve was sorely tried by 
this awful news. He glanced towards the land, about 



194 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

four miks away and then going below fetched out a small 
indiarubber life-belt 

** Lieutenant, your action was hasty," he said, as he 
fixed the contrivance around his chest ''Give 
instructions for life-belts to be served out and all men 
who can swim to take to the water and strike out for 
land The current sets in-warda and the sea is calm, — 
they should most of them be able to readb the shore.** 

In ten minutes the sea was thick with bobbing heads^ 
— ^but alas I many wounded died an awful death as the 
great battleship slid silently beneath the translucent 
waters of the channel 

The " Elsass " had sunk. 

Meanwhile the " Dreadnought ** with her xoyal 
prisoner was dashing at full power bdck to Portsmouth. 

And to meet her steamed the entire German Fleet 

Five of the six destroyers were steamix^ level, three 
on the one beam, two on the other. The sixth could be 
seen astern coming up fast and signalling. 

Sir John asked fen: information. 

" ' Tartar ' signals she has German Prince and eighty 
prisoners on board. Can you slow and take over 
prisoners.'* 

A short time later a sorry lot of German sailors 
stq^ped on to the " Dreadnought's " deck, saluting the 
watching Kaiser as they passed beneath the bridge. 
Then came a stalwart young officer, pale faced and 
limping, and as he reached the bridge he stopped, turned 
as white as a sheet and cried, 

" Father, — ^you a prisoner?" 

" Alas ! Yes, Oscar, my son. But you are wounded,'* 
and rushing down he caught his child about the waist 
with a great tenderness and through the veil of kingship 
came the gentle sympathy of the man and the parent 



" DREADNOUGHT " SHOWS HER TEETH 195 

But the officer commanding the ' Tartar ' had other 
news to give. 

" I beg to report Hxat we saw the ' Elsass ' sink at 
2.10, sir/' he said, saluting. 

The Kaiser heard a word and springing forward seized 
the Ueutenant by the arm, 

**You said, what? of the 'Elsass' you said?" he 
queried incoherently, a deadly fear clutching at his heart 

" The * Elsass ' was seen to sink, sir," he blurted in 
confusion. 

"Gott in Himmel! it is enough," cried the King, 
covering his eyes with his hands in great anguish. 

" You are distraught, Your Majesty," said the Admiral, 
taking the Kaiser gently by the arm. 

** Distraught ?" shrieked Ae Monarch piteously, tearing 
himself free and ptidling at his hair in a very frenzy of 
grief, " distraught, my God ! I am mad, mad. My eldest 
son, the hope of Germany, the Crown Prince, was on 
board the ' Elsass ' and I hid it from you to save him 
from capture. My God! my God!! and now I, — I, 
his father, am his murderer,— oh ! oh ! !" 

He stopped, grew rigid, and had not the ' Tartar's * 
commander and Admiral Angler rushed to help him, 
must have f allea The shock had been too great for his 
anguished mind and he was carried below unconscious. 

The three injured cruisers had all, apparently, sunk 
from their injuries and the destroyers had rescued the 
four hundred odd of their crews who were still alive. 
Thus of the five ships attacked by the ' Dreadnought ' 
not one had escaped, while the loss on the British side 
consisted of twelve men and a midshipman killed, and 
forty-two wounded 

But the drama was developing in a most curious way. 
Far ahead over the horizon to which the ' Dreadnought ' 



ig6 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

was rushing, hung a dense cloud of smoke»— obviously 
the result of German coal, for the enem/s stock of " best 
Welsh" had long ago become exhausted. 

" To be or not to be, that is the question," said Sir 
John to Captain Madden, " I have no wish to fight, but 
rather than make a detour I would dash through them. 
However, I am minded to try a trick on them first and 
see how it works." 

And so when the fleets had closed to within six miles 
or roughly 10,000 yards, a large white flag shot up from 
the "Dreadnought's" solitary mast and a signal was 
made in the common code requesting a parley, as the 
* Dreadnought * had something important to say. 

No heed was taken and the German ships were 
getting so close that at last Sir John thought it wise to 
put about and run at level speed before the foe, whilst 
sending them the message. 

And this message ran as follows : 

" This morning attacked and sank ' Elsass,* Crown 
Prince being drowned Raiser and Prince Oscar are 
our prisoners. Desire your escort into Portsmouth, 
otherwise will kill prisoners. — ^Angler." 

The German Admiral glared in astonishment at the 
message and ground his teeth in livid anger. 

" Verdammter Schweinerei," he vociferated, " what can 
we do?" 

*' May I suggest that we first see if it is true," said the 
captain of the flag-ship. 

" Good. Call for eight knots and signal the fleet on 
no account to fire on the d— — d Englishman. We 
cannot risk his Majest/s life should this signal be the 

truth." 

And so it happened that presently both pursuers and 
pursued were steaming east at eight knots, whilst the 



" DREADNOUGHT " SHOWS HER TEETH 197 

British destroyer 'Tartar/ with flag of truce at stem, 
steamed boldly towards the German Admiral's ship. 
In a short time she was returning at nearly thirty knots 
with four German officers on board and these were soon 
on the deck of the "Dreadnought" They mounted^ 
slowly to the bridge and there were received by Admiral 
Angler and Prince Oscar, who led them to the chart 
house. 

. On a soft cushioned couch lay the unconscious form of 
their King. 

It was all they had come to see. 

Then Admiral Angler gave them a glass of rare old* 
port, a lot of most excellent advice, and with a hand- 
shake, and hearty " auf weidersehen," saw them off his: 
ship. 

Thus it was that the watchers on Culver Down were 
astonished to behold H.M.S. " Dreadnought," with the 
British ensign conspicuous both fore and aft, steaming 
back to Portsmouth Town under escort of no less than 
fourteen first-class German battleships flying the German 

flag. 

What could it mean? 

Still more astonished were they when the Teuton 
vessels, slackening speed, allowed the " Dreadnought " to 
steam through their lines and, after a dipping of the 
flags on both sides, steer gaily for the Solent They 
marconied a question, " What is it all about?" 

Back came the answer. 

" The Kaiser and Prince Oscar are prisoners of Great 
Britain and the German fleet was escorting them into 
captivity." 

In two minutes they knew of it in the Dockyard, — ^in 
ten it was all over the town and as the vast battleship 
glided slowly past the battery and into the Harbour, 
cheer on cheer rang out 



198 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

By wireless telegraphy, Sir John Angler was that 
evening ofiFered a peerage, — ^but by the same means of 
communication the bluff old sailor thanked the Premier 
for his kindness, but press of work prevented him giving 
the matter the consideration it merited and for the time 
he preferred to be excused. As for Captain Madden^ 
he stoutly refused to be made a rear-admiral out of hand, 
for, as he pertly put it, " why the devil should I relinquish 
the command of the 'Dreadnought' just as she is 
b^;inning to live up to her name/' So diey ticketed him 
away to come up for a baronetcy on the next list of 
honours. 

And so it was in this way that the Kaiser landed in 
England 



CHAPTER XXIIL 
The Gun6 

G^ieral Baron Mugglestein was feeling a trifle 
happier. At least they had now driven the Britishers to 
their inner line of defences and presently he hoped to 
have them at his mercy. But time pressed and none 
knew it better than General Mugglesteia This resist^ 
ance must be overcome immediately at whatever cost, — 
and so he called for his Chief of StafiF and had a guttural 
confab. .... 

" Ja ! Ja I Herr General ; this evening it shall be," and 
the German Generalissimo chortled as he felt his fingers 
sinking into the British gullet Already he heard the 
choked voice of a dying nation begging for mercy, 
already he saw those fine ships at Portsmouth flying his 
nation's flag» already — ^ah! why look so much ahead? 
To-night's assault, overwhelming, crushing, and then, — 
the rest would follow. 

That evening the attack was made. Colonel Max 
von Brummel led his men in grand style against the 
brave defenders. First they had been subjected to four 
hours' heavy shell fire and then, — en avant, — ^the 
infantry would do their work. Bravely fought the 
English, bravely and well, but it was not in human power 
to face such odds and come out victorious in the end. 
R^[iment after r^ment was hurled ruthlessly against 
the hastily thrown up barricades and earthworks backing 
on the already captured positions. In thousands men 
fell, in tens of thousands. Every device imaginable was 
made use of, — torpedoes, hand-grenades, machine-guns, 
land mines^ staked-pits ; at last, the mass told 



200 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

At twenty yards revolvers came into play, — but it was 
twenty to one, and the trenches ran in British blood ; 
yet not all British* for to every Briton killed that day at 
the least seven Germans f elL The height was gained, 
at a terrible price it is true, but well worth the loss of life 
to the enemy. For it had the same importance in r^;ard 
to Portsmouth as 203 Metre Hill bore to Port Arthur 
during the memorable siege of that place. 

From it a clear view of the harbour and Solent could 
be obtained; guns placed thereon commanded the 
Town and — ^the Dockyard And guns were ready at 
hand 

They were not very big guns ; but they were long 
range guns, accurate guns and powerful guns. They 
came from Essen and had Krupp writ large on their 
curious yet simple breach-block. They had a calibre in 
inches of 5.91 and were 50 calibres in length ; they 
threw a shell weighing exactly 112.4 pounds and threw 
it moreover a distance of seven miles at a muzzle velocity 
of nearly three thousand feet a second 

The hill was German ground at 4.20 in the morning ; 
until 8 a.m. a myriad men built up emplacements tmder 
a galling fire. Then a further ihyriad were seen below ; 
formed up and waiting for the guns. Six small traction 
engines, — "Little Giants" the makers called them, — 
tugged snorting at a brace of hardened steel-chains and 
dragging therecm was the lumbering sixteen thousand 
pound weight of a gun. 

Puff! poff! puff! poff, — another little rest between 
the pants as a particularly villainous rut held the wheels ; 
now, engines, do your best Poff! der-err-err!! the 
cross-slashed wheels tore round unchecked and then held 
Up came the gun bumpety, bumpety, biunp, bump, bump. 



THE GUNS 20I 

But what matter the biunping if the gun came on, what 
matter the bumps so long as the ultimate object was 
accomplished The gun reached the foot of the captured 
hill and the engines stopped. A twisting fling and a 
speedy turn, — the couplings are off. " Shu-shu-shu-shu- 
shu-derr-er-err !" away go the Httle machines for another 
death-dealing monster. Three hundred men are now 
harnessed to six ropes, — ^fif ty to each, — ^aiid the word is 
given. 

" Eins, zwei ! eins, zwei ! klapperdy hahn ! klapperdy 
hei! eins, zwei! eins, zwei!" 

Three hundred voices chant the refrain and the great 
bulk jolts imsteadily upwards. 

Fighting is going on to left and right, — the position is 
now in favour of the Germans. Presently a wild Teuton 
"huzza" sounds strident down the wind; another 
position captured. 

And the gun rolls slowly up ; at noon the first gun is 
nearly up, a second half way and the third just being 
handed over to the men, whilst the engines career at 
their greatest speed to fetch the next 

At 2 p.m., one of the cannon has been fixed and its 
frowning muzzle already points south-west towards the 
besieged town. A young officer is looking through his 
binoculars towards the sea and searching with careful 
glance the most suitable spots for the distribution of his 
steel-clad visiting cards. And coming in from the east 
he saw a cloud of smoke, — thick and impenetrable, 
hiding all detail. A long cloud, too, made by many 
ships. The German fleet, no doubt 

Five minutes passed and again he swept the horizon ; 
the second gun was getting to the summit and the eins^ 
zwei ! of the sweating toilers filled the air. 



202 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

Curious ! A single ship was making for Portsmouth^ — 
twdve miles off, perhaps. He kept his glasses fixed on 
her but could make out little beyond the British flag, 
since she steamed bows towards him. 

Curious ! ! A British ship, in British hands had just left 
a vast concourse of vessels that could only be German. 

" Curious ! I ! 

The ship qpeedily grew in size, — ^he looked more 
earnestly. Herr Lieutenant Eberkraf t had taken always 
a keen interest in the sea and all things appertaining 
thereto. And his mind went back to the various Naval 
Annuals; that ship seemed familiar. Why, she had 
only one mast! 

He called his superior officer and asked his opinioa 

** What do you make that ship out to be ?" 

''Umph! She is very large, has two funnels and 
apparently but one mast and seems to have four or five 
barbettes each with two guns, — Himmel ! what does it 
matter, Eberkraf t?** 

*' Matter? Why, that ship is the 'Dreadnought* re- 
turning from, — Goodness knows where. She came, too, 
in company with a great concourse of ships and that 
puzzles me greatly." 

** Silly yoimgster! what of it? In three hours we shall 
b^;in to blow holes in all their fine vessels.'* 

At 2.20 the second gun was set as it should be ; No. 
3 was just coming over the crest, 4 and 5 were on their 
way and No. 6 could be seen far below suffering agonies 
as it shot swinging into> through and over ditches, ruts 
and holes. 

"That completes the battery, Herr Capitaine," and 
Eberkraft sighed happily and started on a round of the 
six emplacements. At 5.10 General Baron Mugglestein 
rode heavily up the steep slope to see the first shot fired. 



THE GUNS 203 

They had still quite three hours of daylight in which to 
play havoc 

But things were happenir^ at Portsmouth of which the 
besiegers knew little. First and foremost, the coming 
bombardment was well known to Sir John Angler, — ^but 
in spite of this he smiled He had no intention of 
allowing a single vessel of those under him to receive 
any harm ; but he had rather an eye to dramatic efiFect 
So he gave certain orders by telephone to certain folks 
on a certain height and awaited events. 

" 1st alles fertzig?" enquired the great General^ as he 
looked lor^ down on his victim. 

"Ja! Herr General," came the ready response: a 
gimner pressed against the indiarubber half-moon 
shoulder-piece and, having been given the range, moved 
the weapon half an inch around and awaited the word 

" Fire I !" 

A gerb of flame and smoke sprang out, something 
siggled and hissed, and a few moments later the watchers 
saw a white column nse shimmering beside the ancient 
" Victory." 

A miss! 

Now six guns were trained and the Lieutenant had 
opened his mouth to give the order that would send half- 
a-dozen shells tumbling into the Dockyard, — for the 
trifling error in range had been corrected 

But the word was never spoken. 

From behind a protecting knoll facing them and a 
little below, came three men. The first an officer, the 
second and third men of the line bearing between them 
a huge white flag. 

" Cease fire !" yelled the captain of the battery, and 
the gun squads dropped behind their weapons and 
gasped for breath after the exertion of loading. 

'* Their pluck soon fades. Captain," said the Baron» 



2Q4 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

with a satisfied smirk and visions of high hbnotir await- 
ing him on his return to the Father-land a Conqueror. 
^Yes, sir, I thought to see them take punishment 
better than that ; but perhaps it is but a ruse to gain 

time. 

" Ah, well : we shall soon know." 

Slowly the three forms trudged up the intervening 
half-mile ; at the last they stood directly beneath the 
twenty-foot high emplacement and with hand to head 
the British officer intimated in perfect German that he 
had a communication of the highest importance for the 
ear of the Commander-in-Chief alone. 

They bade him come forward. 

General Baron Mugglestein himself met the bearer of 

tidii^ and was handed a neat note with the Admiralty 
crest upon it And in a dead silence this is what he 

read: — 

My dear Baron, 

It is with profound regret that I must ask you 
on no account to fire upon the Town or Harbour of 
Portsmouth. It has been my good f ortime to take as 
prisoner of war your most illustrious King Wilhelm, 
and with him his son Oscar. His Majesty and the 
Prince are now my guests on board the "Dread- 
nought " and, in my capacity as host, I would not wish 
harm to come to either of them. You, I know, will 
join with me in this desire and when I mention that 
the first missile to touch a British warship will of a 
certainty kill His Majesty and Prince Oscar, the 
necessity of complying with the request at the com- 
mencement of this brief note will be self-evident 

With many apologies for my intrusion into your 
affairs, 

Believe me. 

Yours very truly, 

John Angler, Admiral 



THE GUNS 205 

It is safe to say that at the precise moment, Baron 
Mugglestein was the angriest man in Europe. Four 
times he purs^ his lips to swear, but even the rounded 
rhetoric of the Teuton language could give him not a 
little of what he required for the expression of his 
thoughts. 

Baron Mugglestein was more than angry. Looking 
up he fancied he saw the ghost of a smile flickering 
around the lips of the officer who had brought the 
message. He thereupon lost all control of his feelings 
and, crushing the note in his hand, roared out : 

*' S<A ! this is your rotten trick, you EngUsh pigs. By 
this you would thwart me in the very hour of triumph^ 
by these means you hope to save your worthless skins, 
by this ** 

*'Yes, yes, General," said the Englishman quietly, 
^ bat what reply may I take back to Sir John Angler ?" 

" Reply ? why this. That Kaiser or no Kaiser, Ports- 
mouth falls to-day. You dare not kill the King." 

" Very good But I give you one more warning ; Sir 
John empowers me to say Uiat at the first shot from a 
German gun towards the town," he drew himself up and 
spoke slowly and deliberately at the Baron, "His 
Majesty, the German Emperor, and Prince Oscar — ^will 
— ^be — Changed — ^from — the — * Dreadnought's ' — boat- 
boom!" 

'' Gott ! to have heard it said !" shrieked the maddened 
Baron, ** go, I say, go— and the Kaiser be d " 

A glistening sword was at his heart and as young 
Eberkraf t pressed upon the quivering point, he hissed : 

" Curse the English, General, as much as you will, but 
the Emperor's name is sacred. Though I were shot for 
my act I would spit you as a dog before I heard that 
sentence finished." 



306 THE WAR INEVITABLE 



The gallant Baron restrained himself with a tre- 
mendous effort and a painful silence ensued The click 
of the sword against the scabbard-end broke the 
pause ; Baron Mugglestein advanced towards the young 
Lieutenant and taking his hand, wrung it warmly. 

" Captain Eberkraf t," he said, emphasising the title, 
^ I congratulate you on your promotioa His Majesty 
shall know of this and he can never have too many 
officers of your stamp." 

General Baron Mugglestein was a man and a soldier 

and before all things just; so, however humiliating it must 

have been to his self esteem, he readily grasped the 

justioe of the young officer^s action, — and felt gratified it 

should have been witnessed by the Englishman, who 

stood amazed at the turn of events. But he had to take 

back his answer. 

" Your reply, General ?" he queried straightforwardly. 

" Certainly, Major," said the Generalissimo, " my reply 

cannot be other tihan Sir John anticipated. I ivill give 

you my word no guns ^all fire towards Portsmouth 

Town, Harbour, or Dockyard*' 

'' I thank you, sir," and the Major with his flag-carriers 
started back to their lines. 

The General sat down on a cartridge box and put his 
head between his hands. For a few moments he sat 
thus, his whole massive frame convulsed in sobs. Half 
an hour before he had had the British Nation in the 
hollow of his hands ; their ships and docks were at his 
mercy, a huge army was on its way south from Suffolk 
to invest London from two sides, eversrihing, everything 
seemed making towards a final and historic triiunph. 
And now what was the case? Foiled ! And more than 
foiled, for, as a true German he placed the Kaiser before 
all else and his safety before the honour even of the 



THE GUNS 207 

Empire. Sir John's threat was drastic and has sinoet 
we know, received severe condemnation ; but it is safe 
to say that without that threat, — and if necessary the 
Admiral would have acted up to it ! — England would by 
now be a dependency of the German Empire. 

For a time, at least, Portsmouth was safe. 

And only three days more were required ; then, it was 
expected, Togo and his gaUant men would appear on the 
scene and after that ? 

Down in the Dockyard, things were stirrii^. Sir 
John Angler was waking things up a bit Not that 
anybody had been slacks — ^the whole staff swore they 
had not ceased working forty-eight hours a day since 
the investment Even so the indefatigable little sailor 
was not content By right of power he seemed to be 
the ruler and autocrat of Portsmouth, usurped everyone's 
authority and expected all his own orders to be implicitly 
obeyed Moreover he obtained obedience, — ^and a 
wiUing obedience at that, since it was well known that 
he had the cause of England and Empire alone at heart 
and had banished self, as always, to a remote place. It 
was a Saturday; on Monday the Fleet must sail — ^Sir 
John has said it ; on Monday it did sail, but, as events 
proved, somewhat earlier than anticipated. 

Of his prisoners he saw little during the first six hours^ 
having many orders to give and much work to personally 
supervise. But then his thoughts returned to them and 
he set off for the " Dreadnought" The Kaiser sat in a 
lounge chair examining the surroundings through a pair 
of glasses ; it is safe to assume that the sight of so many 
warships repaired and ready for battle came as a most 
unpleasant surprise to him. 

Sir John saluted and waited a word from his royal 
prisoner. 



TtiS THE WAR INEVITABLE 

** Well Admiral, you have some news for me?'' asked 
Ibe Kaiser, languidly puffing at a cigarette. 

" Your Majesty, I am directed from London to allow 
you absolute freedom in and about Portsmouth. May I 
suggest, for your Majesty's own safety, that you do net 
venture far from the ship ; my countrymen are somewhat 
incensed at the mcHuent and might unwittingly do you a 
barm." 

^ Many thanks^ my dear Admiral, you are most kind. 
I will bear in mind what you say," smiled His Majesty. 

A great thought came to him at that minute, — a great 
and ^orious thought He would in some way effect his 
escape and join his friends in the hills ! It was a mere 
four or five miles and what is that to a strong healthy 
man. But how ? The King knew he would be watched 
and wcmdered whether the slightest hope could be enter- 
tained for the success of his idea At all events he must 
hurry. 

Leaving the German Emperor, Sir John Angler went 
to the cabin of Prince Oscar. He knocked, — ^no answer. 
He knocked again, and yet a third time and as still he 
had no reply, turned the handle and went in. He started 
back. On the floor, at full length, lay the young Prince, 
his arm resting in a pool of blood. He pressed a bell 
and in a moment a doctor was at the side of the uncon- 
fldotts man. 

^ Is it a bad case, Murray ?" enquired the Admiral 
** No, Sir John, nothing much. I should say he had 
stumbled, — perhaps through a sudden f aintness, — ^and in 
falling had displaced the bandage. Careful nursing and 
feeding up will soon pull him round. I suggest takhig 
him to the Hospital." 

" Holy Smoke 1" crfed the old sailor, bringing a huge 



THE GUNS 209 

fist with a bang into the palm o£ his other hand» " where 
are my wits ? Why, tAis is the chap diat's married to that 
sweet maid, Princess Alexandra, God bless her ! Take 
him over this minute and I'll go myself and bring her to 
liiffi. Not a word, mind, to anyone." 

Half an hour later Admiral Angl^ was entering the 
Hospital doors; he waited until the stretcher with 
Prince Oscar had been carried to a small private room 
overlooking the sea and then set off on his quest He 
found the Princess sitting beside Nelson, reading him 
the latest news of the land-fighting. 

A bandage covered Nelson's eyes and his thin, drawn 

face reflected the eagerness with which he drank in 

every word of what he heard. At the sound of Sir 

John's voice he feebly Ufted his hand and saluted, giving 

a whispered " Good-day, Admiral.'* 

** Good-day, Princess, and good-day, my lad," replied 
the good sailor cheerily, "how are you feeling now. 
Lud ! with such a nurse I should have been well long 
ago^ — or rather I don't think I should ever get well so 
as to keep her always." 

" Fie ! Sir John, shame upon you. Besides, I'm very 
annoyed at your speaking to my patient without my 
permission. It might do him a lot of harm." 

" Your gracious pardon, my dear httle lady. We bluff 
old sailors are always doix^ the wrong thing." 

"You are forgiven, you incorrigible Admiral But 
what brings you here ?" 

" Can you i^are a few minutes for another patient?" 
" Of course, I can, — ^if Commander Nelson will let me 

On. 

" Then come with me." 

Tc^ether they went down the long passages and into 

N 



2IO THE WAR INEVITABLE 

tiie seaward wing. At the door of the Prince's room 
stood a doc(or,-^-one of the medical staff. 

'^ He is coining round," he whispered, ** and has asked 
for her Highness." 

In a moment the Princess's heart told her who it was 
askii^ for her, a flush of anxiety suffused her fair cheeks 
and she pushed past the two men into the room. A 
nurse left the bed-side and closed the door behind her. 

A glance was sufficient On the white bed, his wan 
face toward her, lay her husband ; with a glad little cry 
she dropped beside the bed and held him lovingly in her 
arms. 

" Xandra, my Xandra — ^you here ?*' 

" I have waited and prayed, oh ! so often for this great 
happiness, — to have you once again, never to leave you, 
my husband" 



■A 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

Under Cover of the Night 

The Kaiser had not wasted his Sunday. He had 
spent it in mouching about the Dockyard with a show 
of great interest in the naval preparations which, should 
he be unable at once to rejoin his fellow countrymeq, 
must inevitably rob him of all hope of ever conquering 
the British Empire. But he noted more ; he noted that 
it would be possible to take a boat within the Dockyard 
without remark being made ; he noted that if he once 
obtained a footing upon the mud-flats behind Whale 
Island his chances of escape would be more than good ; 
he noticed that there were many small huts jotted about 
the yard wherein the men kept spare workii^-trousers 
and coarse jumpers, and he noticed more particularly 
that to pass by the policemen on guard, it was only 
necessary to walk up to them and by them as though the 
yard were your own. 

Moreover the fates Bad acted kindly to liim ; his 
cabin window, — ^and a good-sized window too — ^lay 
landwards and hidden from the ship's great length by the 
gang screen. 

At ID o'clock on Sunday night a dim figure climbed 
in the shadow from a port and slid down to the stone 
coping of the jetty. He appeared muffled, had a south- 
wester cap on and was clad in a mackintosh of sorts. 
The yard teamed with men engaged upon the final 
touches to the ships, and this fact perhaps aided the 
monarch in his design. Thirty yzids away was the first 
small shed, — a diver's cabin. He crossed hastily and 



212 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

without ado pushed open the door ; nor was he 
pointed in' what he found, for the dim light cast its rays 
over a series of coats and canvas ship leggings^ which 
admirably suited his purpose. 

In a seoond.he was sitting on a cask and his boots had 
been slipped ofiF ; he drew on the rough l^gings and 
shuddered as the poor cloth rubbed his delicate skin. 
Next came a pair of heavy sea-boots» a dirty jersey and 
an oily engineer's cap. With unwilling hand he pulled 
his beautifully waxed moustache and in a moment had 
reversed its trend ; no walrus could look more solemn 
than he, now, with the bristles all over his august mouth. 
Suddenly he heard a step and the f eelii^ of a culprit 
made him hold his breath and stare intensely at the 
door. The steps grew louder and nearer, and at last 
stopped; after a rough push a policeman's helmeted 
head appeared and a grufiF voice called, 

" 'Ullo, mate, wot are you after ?" 

A second's hesitation and all would have been lost 
But the Kaiser is a born actor and now that he was face 
to face with a supreme danger, his wits acted as was their 
wont With a voice mufBed in a dirty handkerchief and 
a direct stare at the intruder, he replied : 

"Wanting a spanner, Bobby." 

" Oh, — ^well it ain't there. Wilks told me to tell any- 
one wot come around looking fer it So long." 

He nodded into the dark at the King, cleared his 
throat and moved to the jetty side to spit The Kaiser 
gave vent to a great sigh of relief and finished his 
preparations. He thanked a lucky providence and a 
sharp wit for his escape and incidentally wondered who 
Wilks might be. Then he set out, slamming the door 
noisily behind him. For a few moments he sauntered 
casually towards the fitting-out dock, where he knew 
several small rowing dinghies lay. 



UNDER COVER OF THE NIGHT 213 

A man standing in the shadow shouted to him and be 
gave a guilty start, but asked, readily enough^ and in 
good hngo, 

"Wot?" 

" Don't ' wot * me, Lazy. There's too much work and 
too little workers in this ere yard ; if I see s you skulking 
agin, hup goes your name and bout you go. Are you 
working the ' Dominion ' ?" 

" Yes." 

" Well, then, get a move on quick." 

Away went the harassed King in the direction indi- 
cated, — ^the direction he desired, by the way. He cursed 
all overseers and dockyard spies in genend and this one 
in particular. 

This was his last encounter. At the steps in the dock 
be found many boats and, taking the bull by the horns, 
jumped from one to the other until he had reached the 
outermost It was here lighter than day, a hundred 
powerful arc-lamps casting tibeir penetrating light every- 
where. In a moment the painter was untied and he 
seized an oar. The Kaiser has a painful deformity, — 
he is partly paralysed in his left arm and now found 
how helpless this left him. He had never learnt to row 
*' fisherman fashion " with a scull fixed in the stem slot 
and and wriggled in screw-like beats behind the boat 
But he had seen it done on a hundred occasions and 
meant to try it now. He pushed off and had got some 
yards clear when a voice hailed him and asked his 
destination. 

"The Hulks" he yelled back, and worked Hkc a 
demon with his sound right arm. His interlocutor was 
seemingly satisfied with the answer. In a few minutes 
the monarch had caught the knack a little and propelled 
his boat with some speed, clumsily it is true. He 



314 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

bomped inccmtinently into a huge cruiser and was 
greeted with an imprecation and a loud ''Be careful, 
clumsy fat 'ead " ; he steered away under the huge stem 
and sped twisting and twirling out into the stream. 
Here the bright electric lamps could not reach him and 
the darkness took on a bladcer hue by very reason of 
the white rays around the busy ships. Twenty minutes 
later he grounded on the mud and leaping overboard 
gave the boat a push that sent it far across the out- 
flowing waters ; it was picked up opposite Ryde next 
morning having gone through the boom entrance on high 
tide. From that moment onwards little is known of the 
Emperoi^s movements. He has been retident, but his 
return to his own camp dressed in a British soldier's 
uniform is accounted the most marvellous episode in the 
history of the war. Doubtless he came across a dead 
Englishman, hidden maybe in a thickly wooded copse 
and» changing dolhes with him, continued his journey in 
fhe new disguise. 

At all events^ the Kaiser had escaped 



CHAPTER XXV. 

A New Tsushima. 

Sir John Angler sat smoking in his commodious cabin 
taming over in his mind the astonishing events of the 
past week. To him, it seemed, the tide of fortune, after 
flowing strongly in favour of the Germans, had at last 
turned and almost he could picture the impudent invader 
being cast back into the sea, — his sea, the British sea,— 
and sent Byixkg whence he came, weakened and beaten. 
But a matter puzzled him ; what to do with his prisoner. 
He obviously could not expect the foe indefinitely to 
keep a truce by threat of death to their monarch, and yet 
if they broke that truce, re-commenced the attack, and 
he still did not carry out his bonded word, it would be 
an obvious declaration of weakness almost fatal to his 
plans. Yet he had no desire to harm his Majesty; 
nothing in reality was further from his thoughts. It 
occurred to him that he might be removed north by a 
fast destroyer; but that again risked capture. At all 
events he felt happy that the Government had mar* 
conied a complete and unwatched freedcmi for the 
royal prisoner ; though deploring the unwisdom of the 
course taken, it took some little amount of direct respon-^. 
sibility off his shoulders. And in matters of Kings and 
theiplike he was pleased to be rid of it 

Soliloquising thus he dozed, when a strenuous knock 
at the door brought him up sitting, with a loud " What 
is it?'' 

A junior officer rushed in with scant ceremony and 

cried, 



2i6 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

" The Emperor is not in his cabin." 

The Admiral started up and it required little eye- 
rubbing to banish all thoughts of sleep. 

" The Emperor gone, you say, — ^but who discovered it 
and how was it discovered i^' 

'* A rivetter went into shed 80 to find a lead plug and 
came across the Kaiser's boots and other clothes he bad 
been wearing. He, of course, did not recc^^nise them^ 
but on bringing them outside a passing officer, Captain 
Urquhart, identified them and came on here at once to 
report We then went to His Majesty's cabin and« 
receiving no answer to our knocks^ forced the door to find 
the Emperor gone." 

" Good God !" ejaculated the Admirali '' if he gefei 
away we'll have shells hurtling about our ears in a few 
hour& Send Captain Madden to me." 

" Very good, sir." 

And in a few brief sentences, Sir John gave directionsi 
lor many thix^^ First came the recapture of the 
Kaiser ; this was a matter to be carefully dealt with. 
since if it had got about the town that his Majesty was 
no longer a prisoner thexe is small doubt but that the 
news would speedily have reached the knowledge of the 
foe and the result may be better imagined than described 
So a himdred skilful police were distributed in all direc- 
tions to effect his recapture ; and to this necessity for 
keeping the matter quiet may be attributed the 
Emperor^s ultimate escape. Second in importance cajne 
the ordering of the Fleet By wireless communication 
Sir John had been apprised of the fact that the Japane3e 
detachment would reach Portsmouth Roads by noon on 
Monday, and he had so planned his movements that the 
two fleets should combine and, under the supreme com- 
mand of Admiral Togo, proceed forthwith to r^ain the 
mastery of the sea. 



A NEW TSUSHIMA 217 

But this escape had cast a difiPerent complexion on 
matters. With luck the Kaiser m^ht reach his friends 
in two or three hours and how soon after diat the shells 
would b^[in falling about their ears it was not difficult 
to guess. So the Admiral gave a momentous order and 
simultaneously spoke the Japanese across the sea, telling 
them of his predicament They were still some hundred 
miles away from the point of rendezvous and dared not 
steam at greater speed than fourteen knots for fear of 
their fuel running out at a critical moment 

It was twenty minutes past midnight when the escape 
of the Kaiser was first discovered At 3. 1 5 twelve huge 
battleships steamed slowly through the wide-flung IxxHn, * 
past the masts and funnels of stiU stuiken ships, past the 
chess-board forts out to the open sea. In their wake 
were eight aranoured cruisers^ huge vessels, towering and 
heavy gunned ; lastly some dozen protected ships and 
a swann of torpedo craft 

One ship had been left,— the "Albemarle" of flxe 
new " Admiral " class ; speedy and powerful, she was a * 
great loss to Sir John, though her presence would have 
broken the homogeneity of the force he conmianded 
She had, unfortunately, lost a propeller against some 
sunken wreckage on the way out of dock. Need it be 
said that foremost steamed the giant " Dreadnpui^t," 
very proud of her pre-eminent position and, by right of 
past deeds, well deserving the honour. The otiiers were 
of four classes. Two " Lord Nelsons," 16,500 tons did 
they displace and steamed a near nineteen knots in full 
career ; dien, counting the Japanese " Kashima " as of 
their class, a string of five " King Edwards," vast vessels 
of 16,350 tons and mighty strength in battle both in 
offence and defence. Behind lurched a brace of 
'• Majesties," the '' Mars " and " Prince George," bearing 



3i8 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

up well beneath a twelve years' service. Lastly steamed 
die babies of the fleet, " Swif tsure " and " Triumph," of 
bnt 11,800 tons; but they were known as the '' Pocket 
Hercules," so strong were they, — ^and speedy too, even 
up to twenty-one knots if hardly pressed A very telling 
fleet. 

The cruisers are of less importance, though powerful 
ships. A glance at the list will show well their size and 
other points of note ; they each played a part in the 
great battle as shall presently be set forth. 

Having deared White Cli£F and Culver Points, 
die course was changed to south and away sped the 
leviathans, cleaving the dark sea with rhy^miic swirL 
A light flashed for a moment to the west and Captain 
Madden turned to Prince Louis, the Commander-in- 
Chief, and Admiral Angler (who came, he said, as sight- 
seer I) and remariced : 

^ That means an early meeting with the enemy, if I 
am not mistaken." 

^ I scarcely expected they would leave the Harbour 
unwatched, so our flight will have been aerogrammed to 
Admiral von Knorr the moment the first ship rounded 
the Wight rU have the men well breakfasted before 
the work begins," and turning to his flag-captain, Prince 
Louis gave the necessary order which was signalled to 
the whole fleet As day broke, the stripped warships 
stood out clearly against the grey horizon of early mom, 
fearsome in their bulk yet, withal, comely. A few 
minutes after six» smoke was seen over the horizon ; the 
enemy had been sighted since 4.15 by the cruiser scouts 
and eager eyes had ever since been turned in their 
direction. Admiral Prince Louis here made a division 
in his fleet Need it be stated that the speed of every 
fleet is that of its slowest unit ; hence, had Prince Louis 



-A 



A NEW TSUSHIMA 2ig 

kept his force undivided his maximum speed could not 
have exceeded that of the " Mars," which on trial had 
made 17.7 knots. At this time her top speed was no 
more than 15.5, for she was a comparatively old vessel 
and her submersion had not improved her steamii^ 
capabilities. But of the other ships the "King- 
Edwards *' were quite able to maintain and even beat 
their trial efforts on service and hence could be depended 
upon at all times for 1 8 knots. The " Lord Nelsons/* 
somewhat slower, had only been designed to steam 18 
knots; whilst the "Triumph" class, though wonder- 
fully fast on short stretches, had not had the best of luck 
with their engines. 

So the Admiral formed two squadrons ; the one fast„ 
heavy and homogeneous, the other slower, somewhat 
mixed as to classes but very strong nevertheless. He 
headed the port column in the " Dreadnought," and some 
cables landward steamed the starboard line, Admiral 
Groome's flag flying in the " Lord Nelson." 

Part Column Starboard Column, 

Speed 18 knots. Speed, circa 15.5 knots 

Dreadnought Lord Nelson 

Kashima Agamemnon 

Britannia Mars 

Commonwealth Prince Greorge 

Dominion Swiftsure 

New Zealand Triumph 

The armoured cruisers received instructions to hold 
themselves in readiness to attack the enemy's vessels of 
like clasSi since it seemed unlikely that the German 
Admiral would risk his fast ships against the immensely 
stroi^ British battleships. 

Admiral von Knorr had been as fully occupied in 



aao THE WAR INEVITABLE 

making preparaticms as bad Prince Louisi and be abo 
set his fleet in order. If you look at the list of ships 
engaged it will be seen that, as a whole, the German 
Fleet was a knot slower than their opponents. Indeed, 
the last two ships of the *W<Jrth** type were respectively 
sixteen and seventeen years old and, besides canying no 
other armament than their six obsolescent 1 1 in« breech- 
loaders, found considerable difficulty in keeping speed at 
even fourteen knots an hour. It is therefore a charitable 
allowance to set down their speed, and hence the speed 
of the whole fleet, as fourteen knots. Again it will be 
noticed that in their fleet no less than eight different 
classes are represented, a heterogeneity fatal to tactical 
perfectioa Of the German built ships difficulty had 
been experienced in obtaining the contract speed, few 
having reached i8 kts. on trial for the full time required 
and fewer still, as may be seen, having surpassed it 
Hence the fast squadron as constituted had a no higher 
general rate than seventeen sea miles. This squadroni 
commanded by Admiral von Knorr himself in the huge 
*'Retvisan," was composed of eight ships; the other, 
headed by the " Andreie Pervosvanni " carrying the flag 
of Vice- Admiral Fritz, contained the remaining nine. 

Fast Squadron Slaw Squadron 

Speed, circa 17 knots Speed, circa 14 knots 

Retvisan Andreie Pervosvanni 

Petropaulovsk Zahringen 

Slava Schwaben 

Hannover Wittelsbach 

Hessen K. Baxbarossa 

Preussen K. Wilhelm der Grosse 

Braunschweig K. Friedrich III. 

Czarevitch Wdrth 

Weissenburg 



t 

\ 



A NEW TSUSHIMA 321 

Certain features in connection with the opposing^ 
fleets are worthy of detailed notice. Firstly the 
superiority of the Germans in both battleships and 
armoured cruisers was almost as three to two. But it was 
in the armaments that England had her greatest weak- 
ness and also her greatest strength, if a very paradoxical 
e3q)ression may be allowed. In totals of guns, Germany 
far exceeded Great Britain, in every type showing, 
numerically, a distinct preponderance But on further 
analysing the detailed statement given, it will be found 
that our foe were particularly deficient in guns of the 
largest calibre, — ^and it was these guns that told at 
Tsushima, when Togo placed himself on a pedestal of 
fame beside our own Admirals of a glorious past It 
may be asked why the difference in calibre should be of 
sudi vast importance and the question is readily and 
completely answered when I mention that whereas the 
12 in. gun fires a huge shell weighing 850 lbs ; that of 
the 1 1 in. is but 562 lbs ; the 10 in. gun shell is no more 
than 488 lbs. (English 10 in. 500 lbs) and of the German 
9.45 in. weapon the projectile is only of 474 lbs. The 
hitting power of the opposing battleships, placed in 
parallel columns, was therefore as follows: — 

Weight of 
Totai 

12-!n. 11-in. 10-in. 9.45-in 9.2-in. Discharge 
England 46 none 12 none 36 58,780 lbs. ^ 
Geraiany so 28 24 24 none 55,824 lbs. 

Thus though the Teutons had a slight numerical 
superiority of two heavy guns, we on our side had the 
decided advantage of being able to fire 3,000 lbs. weight 
more of shot and shell than they could in a single 
discharge. Yet this by no means equalized the fleets as 



222 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

a whole for the concentrated fire which tibe Germans 
could pour into their far fewer opponents, gave tibem a 
very great advantage. The British tactics to be pursued 
were evident; if they got within five thousand yards 
range they must of necessity su£Fer from the tremendous 
quick-fire batteries of the German ships, which carried 
nearly two to one in weapons of medium calibre and five 
to three in the light guns. If, however, the range were 
kept at between 7,000 and 10,000 yards^ the greater 
power and number of the British 12 in. guns must tell 
in their favour. 

No sooner were the enemy sighted than Prince Louis 
made his final dispositions and, signalling all ships to 
hold themselves in readiness for maximum speed, he 
bore down to engage them. They too had adopted a 
formation similar to his own and came on to meet him 
in double column of line ahead. The great yeUow sun 
was just rising over the horizon and its first beams struck 
clear into the eyes of the German gunners and sighters. 
Here was nature taking sides with vengeance. A 
sweltering autumn day threatened and the British tars 
slipped off all but their breeches, strappii^ the belts of 
these two holes tighter in preparation for the coming 
fray. By each gun were small plans, side-elevations, of 
the enem/s ships with the armoured portions marked 
in blue of various depths according to the thickness of 
the armour. These the officer in charge of the gun 
studied continuously and as information came down from 
the telemeter platform stating the formation in which 
the enemy were steaming, and the order of the ships 
forming each hostile division, he changed the plans until 
at last No. i represented the leading opponent, No. 2 the 
second and so on down the lines. The ships themselves 
were as pugilists stripped for the fight Gone were side 



A NEW TSUSHIMA 233 

rails and cowls, gone all boats and trappings, gone all 
topmasts and yards ; a short-distance Marconi receiver 
alone projected from the main searchlight platform, 
useful for action signals though short of range. 

On came the two great masses, irresistibly, terribly,— 
every man in the two fleets cast a prayer to God, for 
themselves perhaps, maybe for their country, the country 
for which they were about to risk that most precious of 
all heavenly g^ts, — ^lif e. 

The British fleet steamed at fourteen knots ; an easy 
speed which could be raised instanter to fifteen and a 
half. Their foe were travelling at twelve for Admiral 
von Knorr realised that in the first encomiter his two 
squadrons must act in unison and the outside m^iximum 
of the slowest was a bare fourteen miles an hour. 

At six and a half miles, or about 1 1,500 yards. Prince 
Louis flashed out an order. In a moment it was acted 
upon and the fleet's formation underwent a startlii^ 
change. The " Dreadnought " swung heeling, to port at 
increased speed and after her the five " King Edwards " ; 
but behind the " New Zealand," last of the port column, 
turned the starboard coliunn, "Lord Nelson" leading, 
until the whole British force was rushing obliquely across 
the enemy's bows at just outside the maximum range. 
The German Admiral saw the msinoeuvre and a thought 
of Togo's tactics rose as a spectre before his eyes. He 
had meant to do this very thing himself, but not until 
the range was within seven thousand yards,7--f or at that 
distance only could he take advantage of his preponder- 
ance in guns. Alas ! his country had given him good 
ships, good ofiicers and good men but — feeble weapons 
as his main armament Little remained for him to do 
but to follow the old, old law,— circle on the inner circle. 
Here again he was at a loss; his foe had not only 



324 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

cxecnted the manociivre long before he had himself 
mtended it to take place* but had also the advantage of 
speed and had been travelling fully three and a half 
knots faster dian he when he tamed. Was ever a stnxig 
man so woefully deceived by his weaker enemy! 

But a worse surprise was in store for him for ere his 
ttgnal to make the counter-move had been-read by half 
his command, a duU roar let him know that twelve British 
broadsides were venting their steekn wratiht upon the 
daring violators of English shores. 

From end to end of the British line flashed a volume 
€i fire and li|^t haze. The air shrieked with hurtling 
ptojectiles as they winged their resistless way foe-wards 
cttiying death and agony to a waiting victim. Cruel 
was this blast of Britain's fury and might, ghastly the 
lesolt With a rush the shells fell, — ^fell ah! where. 
On tiiis ship and on that ship? some here, some there? 
Na Prince Louis had profited by the instruction from 
the Battle of the Sea of Japan and every gun that could 
bear in his fleet had been ccmoentrated upon the 
^ Retvisan ^ and ^ Andreie PervosvannL" 

The two British Admirals stood on the open bric^ 
and with binoculars awaited the result of this united 
discharge. Suddenly Sir John dropped his glasses and 
tamed to the Prince, his face blanched with horror, 

" My God! Battenberg, — ^I never thought to see thatl 
Its awful, — it ought not to be allowed !" As he spoke 
a second broadside rang out! 

When die order to fire had been given, every gun from 
a 9.2 in. upwards was trained on the leading hostile 
ships ; as one the weapons spoke, and with a roar that 
those who heard it will never forget, one hundred and 
thirty-two vast shells were cast in an awful rain upon the | 

faiddess vessels. Of this number it has been expertly J 



i 



A NEW TSUSHIMA 225 

computed that at least one hundred and ten took effect, 
though if one might base a calculation upon target 
practice of recent time, one hundred and twraty five 
would seem to be more probable. And this steelen hail 
was not divided. Upon these two, and these two only, 
did it fall. As a volcano, bound in the iron fetters of a 
thousand years, finds renewed strength and (from many 
centuries of tranquility) bursts forth in ghastly fury to 
rouse a continent or destroy a generation, so did these 
quiet, black leviathans of the Teuton power, steaming, 
unheard, across the silvery waters, suddenly undergo a 
transformation of which the like had never before been 
seecL 

Their contour, a moment before clear against the 
dawnii^ sky, fled at a nod ; a blurred, hysteric rush of 
choking yellow vapours, belching great gerbs of scarlet 
bloody tongues, groaning in travail as a mountain forge 
of nature, rushed to the upper skies. Out of each side 
a sweltering cauldron of boiling water spread rain-wise 
with a fearsome spurt. Below, the calm sea gurgled, 
soughed and flopped; now rose in geysers high as 
church built spires, mountains of water bubbling, churn- 
ing, spluttering ; now fell again in ton-weights, sploshing 
the hidden decks, adding a watery inferno to a hell of 
fire, forcing new coils of stenchf ul darting smoke far over 
the adjacent sea. Roar on roar in a sudden quick pro- 
fusion came from the stricken masses ; howling shrieks 
rose to God through the baneful f tunes as a thousand 
suffering souls cursed out their lives to a horror-struck 
Maker. Here a gun shot skewing like a darted straw 
and fell, a solid seven thousand pound weight, splash 
into the waves a full hundred yards from the vessel that 
had held it A mast spun upwards, driven as an arrow 
from a powerful bow, — ^a funnel too ; and still remained 



226 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

the impenetrable mass of dark amber smoke, still came 
the somid of bumiiig, bursting shells, still the dread 
shrieks of human beings in utteiest depths of agony and 
suffering. Then the sound ceased and a soft breeze 
off the sea wafted in callous unconcern the hiding spume 
away towards the land There lay, — one ship, — or what 
had been a ship ! An ugly ram stuck skywards showing 
twenty feet of keel, the stem was submerged at least 
eight feet and the exterior appearance had undergone a 
terrible change. Gone were masts, funnels, conning- 
towers, davits, — ^nay, in a word the deck had been swept 
as though a garnered hall ready for a feast But stay, 
something more was gone. One gun struck from a 
wrecked bow-turret, — ^the other had snapped off at the 
turret-port Flames leapt about in startling levity ; here 
flashed a crimson blade from an empty port and there, 
two hundred feet away, came a wisp of fire equally 
brilliant 

The interior of the ship was a roarix^ furnace ! 

But what of the other ? Nothing, — absolutely nothing. 
The "Andreie Pervosvanni" had merely disappeared 
it was not hard to conjecture what took place when one 
reads the account of the tmheard of happenings on board 
the " Retvisan " as given by the forty sole survivors- In 
this ship one shell entered the conning tower from below, 
having been deflected upwards by an armoured glacis ; 
it exploded against the solid steel top, and of Admiral 
von Knorr and his staff never a trace was seen agaixt 
The heavy conning tower cover was wrenched off and 
fell on the fore-turret, smashing it into the deck and 
destroying the port gun. Other shells penetrated the 
armoured deck and belt and burst amongst the boilers ; 
these ships had been declared by experts to be immune 
to belt attack, but it was the second broadside following 



A NEW TSUSHIMA 227 

as it did immediately upon the first, that created the 
maximum of havoc Where the first shell had starred or 
cracked a plate, a second found little difficulty in enterii^ 
and thus the tale of horror was imf olded. 

Then the fires doubtless reached the magazines in the 
*' Andreie Pervosvanni " and she sank in less than a 
minute. Admiral Fritz and her entire crew disappearing 
with her ; for never a man was found. Only forty men 
were collected from the " Retvisan *' and then she, too, 
sank, as was certain from the dreadful nature of her 
injuries. 

It must not be imagined that during this time both 
sides had ceased fire ; awed as they were by the eflfect of 
their initial discharge, the British Admirals had far too 
much at stake not to follow up the advantage so luckily 
obtained. Continuing their " T " tactics, the line was 
reversed and was now steaming landwards firing hard 
at the next two ships in the enemy's columns. But they 
too, had now reformed and, under the guidance of a Rear 
Admiral, Von Mannfelt by name, were gallantly doing 
their best to make up for the crushii^ disaster with 
which the action had opened So he steamed on an 
inner circle and gave broadside for broadside in most * 
brave manner, his fifteen ships having still a certain 
superiority over the British Fleet Thus they 
manoeuvred for a long time, our ships for ever holding 
the range at outside seven thousand yards, the enemy 
for ever trying to close to within a distance suitable for 
their superior light quick-fire. guns. Ship after ship 
dropped out on both sides and at last Admiral Prince 
Louis was looking anxiously southwards whence he 
expected help. With seven vessels he now faced ten ; 
the " Mars " and " Prince George " had been unable to 
stand up against the more modem ships of the enemy 



aaS THE WAR INEVITABLE 

and had gone down, fighting to the last The "Kashima*" 
had been forced to run for the land for the " Dominion," 
(of which ship the steering gear had temporarily failed, 
having been shot through by a great shell) had rammed 
her, and had driven a large hole under her counter. She 
was beached by her gallant little Japanese captain who 
was so upset at thus being forced to leave the battle 
that he went to his cabin and placed a pistol to his head. 

But he never pulled the trigger ! His first lieutenant 
had seen him enter and rushed in just in time to prevent 
the foolish act and so saved him to accept a high dis- 
tinction at a later date from His Majesty the King. 
The " Swiftsure " and " Triumph " had both been sunk, 
their scantlings proving too light to bear the incessant 
battering to which they were subjected On the side of 
the enemy, besides the two ships lost in the initial stages 
of the action, the "Wdrth" and " Weissenburg " had 
speedily succumbed and sank like logs. Then came the 
turn of the " Slava," sister to the ill-fated flag-ship of 
Rodjestvensky, — a crank, badly designed class. The 
"Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse" next showed signs of 
weakening and eventually stopped, signalling violently. 
Then, as though possessed of some changeable devil, 
she suddenly listed and without the slightest warning, 
calmly turned turtle ! The " Zahringen " swam well until 
the mighty " Dreadnought '* chanced to find her range ; 
then she became a mountain of living flame, her speed 
dropped at once and the sharp ram of the next astern 
finished the work so ably begun by Prince Louis. 

But in spite of this the odds were not diminishing and 
both the Prince and Admiral Angler felt considerable 
anxiety as to the ultimate issue. Certainly matters were 
not going as well as would be liked and yet, — ^if the odds 
be for a moment considered, it is astonishing, to say the 



A NEW TSUSHIMA 229 

least, that by now the entire British Fleet should not 
have been wiped out! 

Then occurred the most startling thing. The fight 
had, for various reasons, worked more and more towards 
the east and the open sea, and a distance of at least 
eighty miles lay between the combatants and the land 
The Germans had been pressing their opponents 
heatedly and Prince Louis was almost for advising a run 
to Portsmouth to effect a few repairs in the shelter of 
the Isle of Wight, when a signal was brought down to , 
him. It was to the effect that a fleet had been sighted 
to the west, steaming hard and signalling. 

He rushed on deck regardless of flying shells and 
found Sir John Angler already there, peerii^ gladly 
astern. 

" By Heavens ! it's Percy Scott ! !" he cried, and com- 
menced to caper like a schoolboy. The German Fleet * 
had seen their new foe too ; of a sudden they turned 
due east and, stoking up to the full as the fumes of black 
smoke testified, set off in flight through the channeL 
Up went the signal from the " Dreadnought" 

" Pursue and attack in detail" 

By now the new British force could be made out It 
comprised six first class battleships, the " Queen," " For- 
midable," "Venerable," and "Implacable" of 15,000 
tons and the "Glory" and "Goliath" of 12,950 tons. 
The "Implacable," which it may be remembered 
was forced by a leak to leave Admiral Scott's squadron 
on its way to Plymouth after the first great naval fight, 
had not been beached at all ; her crew managed to stop 
the inflowing water by superhuman efforts and she crept 
into Plymouth at four knots two days later and with the 
rest of the ships that had escaped had been thoroughly 
overhauled and repaired 



230 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

These additional vessels turned the tables on the 
Gennans with a vengeance ; but they had about twelve 
miles start and could still steam at least seventeen knots. 
Prince Louis's ships were all much battered and though 
cwie or two of the remaining seven might well have run 
down the German fugitives, none of them had sufiEcient 
ammunition wherewith to carry on the fight after the 
enemy had been overtaken. 

The " Dreadnought," which possessed still thirty or 
forty rounds for her big guns, forged ahead and kept up 
a steady methodical fire at the stems of the retreating 
foe ; for forty minutes this went on and then smoke was 
sighted far over the horizon to the south. 

The Japanese wished to have a word to say in the 
matter ! 

Presently the ships of the Mikado could be seen 
tearing at huge speed down upon the luckless foe. Five 
great battleships were there, tiie " Aki " and " Satsuma *' 
of 19,800 and 19,250 tons respectively, and immensely 
strong and speedy; the "Mikasa," "Asahi" and 
*' Shikishima," 15,200 ton veterans of the Russo-Japanese 
conflict, in the first of which flew the flag of the immortal 
Togo. With them the "Tsukuba" and "Ikoma," 
armoured cruisers in name alone, batdeships in all else ; 
then lastly the " Kasuga " and " Nisshin " from Ansaldo's 
Yard at Genoa, veritable examples of multum in farvo. 

Seeing these new enemies coming hot-haste to finish 
the work so well begun, the harassed Teutons turned 
north and rushed landwards there by the shore to seek 
an outlet of escape. Thus went the chase. In front 
the Germans steaming at best to evade the glue-like 
pursuers. From the west came Admirals Prince Louis 
of Battenberg and Sir Percy Scott with a dozen battle- 
ships and as many armoured cruisers, from the north 



A NEW TSUSHIMA 231 

came Togo swearing a deadly vengeance and bringing 
nine mighty forms to back up his oath. From the east 
— ^what? 

Do you remember that disaster in the mouth of the 
Thames when the " Revenge " and " Traf a^^ " were 
sunk by mines laid cunningly across the Duke of Edin- 
burgh's Channel? Months had elapsed since that time 
and the " Trafalgar " had been raised and repaired, the 
" Victorious " docked and patched up and now they and 
the " Royal Sovereign," " Empress of India " and " Nile ** 
were seen steaming across the German bows, havii^ been 
telegraphed up from London immediately news of Prince 
Louis's sortie was known at the Admiralty. 

What could ten battered warships efifect against 
twenty-three of similar class and more powerful type, — 
not to mention armoured cruisers ? The hostile squadron 
slowed down and a white flag spoke surrender to the 
encircling Japanese and British vessels. The German 
fleet no longer existed, — ^with the exception of certain 
little details with which I intend to deal later. 

But what became of the German armoured cruisers? 
I hear asked It is simply and shortly told. 

Of these there were eleven to the seven English and 
one Japanese. But of the hostile vessels two, the "Gro- 
moboi " and " Rossia," had already received severe hand- 
ling at the hands of Admiral Kamimura on August 14th, 
1904, and so badly were they damaged that they could 
not even when repaired be any longer regarded as first 
dass, — ^indeedj, for two years prior to their purchase by 
Germany they had been used by the Russian Govern- 
ment as Gunnery Training Ships, for which purpose, 
with their spacious decks and great accommodation they 
were admirably suited For warlike uses the small 
" Bayan " class were their equals if not their superiors ; 



332 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

these three vessels and the Japanese '* Aso ^ had been 
described as the finest fighting ships for their size in 
existence. But Russia lost much from a variety of causes. 
Firstly in guns of 9.2 in. calibre and upwards we had no 
less than twenty-two to their six and even their enormous 
preponderance in weapons of medium calibre could not 
make up this deficiency. And, too, in their eleven ships 
eight di£Ferent types, sizes or classes were represented 
whilst our eight were distributed amongst five. The 
average speed of the British squadron was 23.44 knots, 
which, compared with the 21.21 knots of the Germans, 
was an advantage of which too much cannot be made. 
So when Rear-Admiral Jones in H.M.S. "Shannon" 
spotted the German fast craft sneaking round the rear 
of their greater brethren he went pell-mell for them and 
at a range of 6,500 yards poured in a well-directed rain 
of shell from his g.2 in. and 7.5 in. gun& The smallor 
weapons were of little value at the distance though his 
enemy replied with anything and everjrthing that was 
bearing. Just at this moment the fate of the two 
German flagships was noticed by both combatants and 
whilst the Britishers sent cheer on cheer out to the 
startled Germans, the latter felt a fear of defeat gripping 
them, a fear that gnawed at their hearts and blurred 
their eyes, that sapped their courage and crushed their 
nerve. So badly did they take this first reverse that 
many of the Teuton gunners blazed away with guns upon 
the side opposite to that engaged with our ships. The 
roar of combat stung the ear with its vivid recurrence, 
crash succeeding crash with tmabating regularity. 
Presently the effect of the accurate British fire could 
be remarked ; the hostile cruisers slunk south and bore 
away from their deadly foe, at last turning west and 
flying for Portland where they hoped to reach shelter. 



A NEW TSUSHIMA 233 

One by one they dropped behind, — ^first the great 
"Gromoboi," and as the "Shannon" and "Drake" 
passed her on either side in hot pursuit of the remaining 
ships, they each fired a terrific broadside and loosed a 
torpedo at a range of 1,200 yards. 

Boom ! boo-oom ! ! came the howling of a giant burst ; 
the torpedoes had both taken effect and they, with the 
scathing shell-rain from either side, rattled the badly- 
designed erstwhile Russian from keel to upper dedc* 
As they left her astern she commenced to settle down 
and her crew, such as remained thereof, were right glad 
when a British destroyer came forward to rescue them. 
The "Prince Heinrich" was the next to go; she 
mounted two enormous 94 ia weapons fore and aft in 
barbettes, and these had always been r^arded as far 
too powerful for her small bulk of under nine thousand 
tons. Their repeated discharge, therefore, ruptured her 
deck and a lucky shot of 380 pounds in weight happen- 
ing to enter her stem and burst beneath the after 
ammunition hoist, the stem gun, which was firing as the 
British shell exploded, lurched forward, drove its pro- 
jectile through tiie " Prince Heinrich's " own deck and 
fell, barbette and all, from deck to deck through the ship 
and eventually out at the keel making a hole of appalling 
magnitude. At once the stricken vessel commenced to 
sink by the stem and in three minutes nothing remained 
to show where she had been. Thirdly the " Rossia " 
dropped out, — and surrendered. But so badly damaged 
had she been by the perfect fire of the Jack Tars that 
before she could be towed to a harbour she sank^ — ^and 
little loss either, for she was not worthy of repair. 

It was at this moment that the " Drake," the only 
English ship to receive severe damage, was stmck in the 
bows by two 10 ia shells from the ** Rurik," a huge ship 



334 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

of Ebwick design and btiild and mounting four lo in. 
guns and eight of 8 in. calibre. The great projectile 
ploughed through her and exploded over the first group 
of boilers, driving loi^ steel splinters and nut-heads 
down amongst the tubes of the intricate Bellevilles and 
generally creating most fearful havoc. She dropped 
behind and at five or six knots an hour made for Ports- 
mouth, arriving there just before her more fortunate 
sisters who continued the fight with renewed vigour. 
The "Shannon" and "Defence," our two mightiest 
ships, devoted now the whole of their attention to the 
" Rurik," — she at least being well worthy of their metal, 
carrying as she did a heavier armament and being of 
greater displacement In twelve minutes the two stem 
lo in. and four 8 in. Q.F. guns had all been dismounted 
or smashed up and it seemed the battle was coming to 
a dose by the wholesale destruction of the Germans. 
Here, however, a shell from the " Schamhorst " hit the 
** Defence " on the stem-plate blowing a huge hole ; her 
speed fell at once to under twenty knots and without 
her ihe remaining six British ships dared not close the 
enemy. 

For many hours tliis had been going on when a move- 
ment of indecision was observed amongst the foe. For 
a short time Admiral Jones was at a loss to make it out,^ 
— ^then he saw smoke far ahead of the fugitives and 
guessed the truth. The newcomers could not be enemies 
since all the German Fleet had been engaged that day ; 
they were therefore friends. And sure enough in twenty 
minutes the fl}ang Germans were scattering in all direc- 
tions beneath the hot fire of the Devonport division of 
armoured cruisers, the remnants of the Third Cruiser 
Squadron augmented by two ship3 that had nm in past 
the German scouts from the China Station, making six 



A NEW TSUSHIMA 235 

in all Of these the " Leviathan " and " King Alfred " 
were 14,100 ton sisters of the tinfortunate "Drake," 
another was the " Aboukir " of 12,000 tons and carryii^ 
two powerful 9.2 in. weapons and twelve of 6 in. calibre, 
the remaining three belonged to the County class of 
cruiser, the " Monmouth," " Lancaster," and " Suffolk." 

And so it came about that whilst Admirals Prince 
Louis of Battenberg, Togo, and Sir Percy Scott escorted 
ten battered German battleships into the Solent, Admiral 
Jones steamed into Plymouth Sound with seven captured 
armoured cruisers. Of these seven, it might here be 
mentioned, the "Bayan," "Pallada," and "Admiral 
Makaroff " were handed over to the Japanese in recog- 
nition of the gallant part played in the action by a similar 
ship, the " Aso " ; the fleet of our Allies would thus- 
possess a homogeneous division of four fast, handy and 
powerful ships. 

But though the bulk of the German Fleet had been 
either captured or destroyed there remained much 
work for the British and Japanese to do. This work 
was aptly described by one of the sailors as " sweeping 
up the rubbish," and was left of necessity mostly to 
protected cruisers and torpedo craft What these did 
and how they did it is deserving of another chapter, but 
before proceeding to it it would be well to describe 'the 
direct result of the arrival of the Japanese Fleet into- 
English waters and what Togo brought with him. 

(A) BRITISH. 

Diqdaoe- Armament : Totpedo 

ment Speed H'tj U'dm L'ght. Tabes Notes.- 
Battleships : — 

1. Dreadnought ... 17,000 22.4 10 — 27 5 

2. Lord NelBon ... 16,500 19 14 — 24 5 

3. Agamemnon ... 16,600 18.75 14 — 24 5 



336 



THE WAR INEVITABLE 

















Run 


4. Kaahima (1) ... 


16,400 


19.6 


8 


12 


23 


6 


Aabore 


6. Britaimia 


16,350 


19.6 


8 


10 


30 


6 




6. Commonwealth 


16,360 


19.4 


8 


10 


30 


6 




7. Dominion 


16,350 


19.5 


8 


10 


30 


5 




8. New Zeftland... 


16,350 


19.45 


8 


10 


30 


5 




9. Mars 


14,900 


17.7 


4 


12 


32 


6 


Sunk 


10. Prince George 


14,900 


18.3 


4 


12 


32 


6 


Snnk 


11. Swiftsnre 


10,800 


20 


4 


14 


24 


2 


Sunk 


12. Triumph 


10,800 


20.17 


4 
94 


14 
104 


24 
330 


2 
54 


Sunk 




186,100 


tone 






Average Speed, 


19.47 kte. 








AsMOUKED Ckuiseks:— 














1. Shannon 


14,600 


22.74 


4 


10 


30 


6 




2. Defence 


14,600 


23.5 


4 


10 


30 


5 




3. Drake 


14,100 


25.3 


2 


16 


19 


2 




4. Natal 


13,550 


23.34 


6 


10 


32 


3 




6. Duke of Edin- 
















burgh 


13,550 


23.4 


6 


10 


32 


3 




6. Antrim 


10,850 


23.63 


._ 


10 


26 


2 




7. Roxburgh 


10,850 


23.63 


_ 


10 


26 


2 




a Aso (1) 


7,800 


22.41 


22 


10 
80 


46 

241 


6 

28 






99,900 touA 





Average Speed, 23.44 kts. (1) Japanese. 

(B) GERMAN. 



Battleships : — 



Displace- Annament : Torpedo 

ment Speed HVy M'dm Lilt Tubes Norse 

22 5 Captured 
5 Sunk 



4 Sunk 

4 Sunk 

4 Captured 

4 Captured 

4 Captured 

4' Captured 

6 Captured 

6 Sunk 

6 Captured 

6 Captured 

6 Captured 

6 Sunk 

6 Captured 



1. Petropaulovsk 


19,800 


18.43 


16 




22 


2. Retviflan 


19,800 


18.12 


16 


— 


22 


3. Andreie 












Pervosvanni 


17,400 


18.4 


4 


12 


56 


4. Slava 


13,516 


17.6 


4 


12 


46 


5. Hannover 


13,200 


19.1 


4 


14 


32 


6. Hessen 


13,200 


18.28 


4 


14 


32 


7. Preusaen 


13,200 


18.69 


4 


14 


32 


8. Braunschweig 


13,200 


18.6 


4 


14 


32 


9. Czarevitch 


13,180 


19.6 


4 


12 


52 


10. Zahrinsen 
11. Schwaben 


11,830 


19.68 


4 


18 


32 


11,830 


18 


4 


18 


32 


12. Wittelsbach 


11,830 


17.9 


. 4 


18 


32 


13. E. Barbarossa 


11,150 


18 


4 


18 


32 


14. K. Wilhelm der 










Grosse 


11,160 


17.8 


4 


18 


32 


15. K. Friedrick III 11150 


18 


4 


18 


32 



' 1 



A NEW TSUSHIMA 



237 



16. Wttrth 

17. Wei«6enbarg 



10,060 17.2 
10,060 17 



6 — 
6 — 



22 
22 



5 Sunk 

6 Sunk 



225,556 Tons 



96 200 562 126 



Average Speed, 18.15 kts. 



AxMOURED Cruisers: — 

1. Burik 15,240 

2. Giomoboi 12,336 

3. Roesia 12,200 

4. Schamhorst 11,500 
6. YoTck 9,500 

6. Prinz Adalbert 9,000 

7. Friedrich Karl 9,000 

8. Prinz Heinrich 8,868 

9. Bayan 7,900 

10. Admiral Makaroff 7,900 

11. Pallada 7,900 



21.42 

20 

20.25 

22.71 

21.4 

20.35 

20.53 

20.1 

22.3 

22.55 

21.8 



8 
20 
20 
14 
14 
14 
14 
10 
10 
10 
10 



34 

62 

48 

34 

26 

26 

26 

24 

24 

24 

24 



2 Captured 

5 Sunk 

5 Sunk 

4 Captured 

4 Captured 

4 Captured 

4 Captured 

4 Sunk 

2 Captured 

2 Captured 

2 Captured 



111,556 Tons 



6 216 352 38 



Average Speed, 21.21 kts. 

(C) The Japanese Fleet that came from the South 

under Admiral Togo. 

Battlbshifs : — 



Aki 


19,780 Tons. 


21 Knots. 


Satsuma 


19,250 „ 


21 ,> 


Mikasa 


15,200 „ 


18i: „ 


Asahi 


16,200 „ 


m „ 


Shikiskima 


14,850 „ 


18i „ 


Armoured Cruisers: — 






Tsukuba 


13,750 Tons. 


21 Knots. 


Ikoma 


13,750 „ 


21 „ 


Kasu^a 


7,700 „ 


20 „ 


Nisshrn 


7,700 „ 


20 „ 



(D) The British Squadron that came from the West 

under Admiral Sir Percy Scott. 

Battleships : — 

Queen ... 15,000 Tons. 18 Knots. 

Formidable ... 15,000 „ 18 

Venerable ... 15,000 „ 18 

Implacable ... 15,000 „ 18 

Glory ... 12,960 „ 18^ 

Goliath ... 12,950 „ 18i 






238 



THE WAR INEVITABLE 



AiMOURBD Ckuisbks:— 






Leyiathan 


14,100 T<»3. 


25 


King Alfred ... 


14400 ,, 


2% 


Aboakir 


12,000 „ 


2i, 


Monmoath 


9,800 „ 


24 


Lancaster 


9,tt00 „ 


24 


Snffolk 


9,aoo „ 


24 



Knoto. 



(E) The British Squadron that came from the East; 

from the Nore. 



Battleships : — 

Yictorioiie ... 14,900 Todb. 

Empress oi India 14,360 

Royal Soyereign 14,360 

Nile ... 11,940 

Trafalgar ... 11,940 



9» 



9t 



17.5 

17.6 

17.6 

17 

17 



Knots. 






CHAPTER XXVI. 

Lord Kitchener to the Fore 

The British Government had taken a leaf out of the 
Japanese book in the matter of harnessing the Press. 
True, a deadly patriotism had made this a comparatively 
simple matter, all editors of repute readily f allii^ in with 
the wishes of the Government and right loyally support- 
ing them in their endeavour to keep secret any news that 
might prove of value to the enemy. Hence, the voyage 
of the Japanese fleet from Yokohama and Kobe to 
England had been kept wonderfully quiet, no news of 
of its composition or position being allowed to leak out 
Coaling had been effected at isolated islands and the 
progress west had been more carefully wrapped in 
mystery than even the voyage of Rodjestvensky's ill- 
fated assortment of ships. The mere statement had 
been issued early in July that a fleet had sailed from 
Japan and it was understood that it convoyed about 
150,000 troops. So much did people learn, — and here 
authentic news stopped for good, nothing beyond con- 
jecture being known to the populace on either side. 

As weeks passed and weeks rolled into months, and 
still no sign was vouchsafed of the fleet of our Allies, 
certain of the cheaper newspapers, ill-advised and hasty, 
initiated a campaign of discontent against what they 
were pleased to term the tyranny of oppression and in 
scathing leading articles condemned the action of 
Government . and Admiralty in general and the stem 
unconcern of Lord Kitchener and Sir John Angler in 
particular. 



340 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

To the snarls of these ps^rs were joined the dis- 
graceful bickerings of a Little England set in the House 
erf Commons^ and a small body of men, imworthy the 
title of Englishmen, openly and strenuously demanded 
that peace should be immediately made upon the best 
terms secnieable. In vain did the harassed Ministers 
reply evasively to direct requests for news,— in vain did 
they with skilful sentences shift responsibility always 
upon absent shoulders ; the unpatriotic few, the bastard 
minority who had made it a pleasure to favour their 
country's enemies, nagged on until the mass began 
indeed to believe something ought to be done. 

One day a riot started as the result of a number of 
inflaming speeches that had been delivered in Trafalgar 
Square, and a vast concourse of the worst and lowest 
marched singing down Whitehall and besieged the 
Admiralty and the Houses of Parliament. The remedy 
was obvious, — and Lord Kitchener applied it with 
celerity and precision. He had posted in every 
prominent position a notice stating that henceforth 
London would be ruled by martial law, that pubhc 
meetings were not to be held under pain of death and 
that six men would in future constitute a "meeting!" 
People gasped and whispered vain threats against this 
arrogant proposal ; what right had any man to tamper 
with the freedom of Britain, — Britain the free country, 
the model country ? They asked one another this, — ^but 
quietly and without allowing more than four to hear the 
questioa If a fifth strolled up, the grumbler ceased his 
grumbling and remembered (apart from Lord Kitchener's 
notice) other and pressing business. The police sud- 
denly became more rigourous, and carried — ^revolvers ! 

And all this happened in a couple of hours ! 

The news thereof was taken to the house, — ^members 



LORD KITCHENER TO THE FORE 241 

rose gesticulating and demanded Lord Kitchener's re- 
moval ; the patriotic majority howled them down. Still 
they rose and demanded to be heard and presently a 
scene had developed such as had not been known since 
the days of Oliver Cromwell. A pandemonium of 
shouts and cries reigned in place of oratory and order, 
and as a final resource the Speaker endeavoured during 
a momentary lull to clear the Chamber. It was all in 
vain, but the news of what was taking place had reached 
Lord Kitchener's ears; he had expected it and sat 
dressed in readiness for the next act in this remarkable 
drama. 

Mounting his charger he rode, at the head of a troop 
of cavalry, down to the House. Simultaneously a number 
of uniformed bill-stickers rushed to pre-arranged places 
and posted a second proclamation, — a proclamation as 
astounding as it was masterly. 

It abolished, fro tem.y Government by Parliament ! 

In short, noticing that the speakers did more harm 
than good by their speeches and remembering that one 
tactless speech was apt to prove more baneful than a 
dozen sensible ones could be of use. Lord Kitchener had 
called together the members of the Imperial Defence 
Committee and told them that power of governance 
must for the immediate future rest in them alone, — as ^ 
long, indeed, as a single German invader remained in 
England. To this they had perforce to agree, and, as 
true patriots, put their hearts and minds into their work 
and prepared for the dismissal of the Mother of ParUa- 
ments. This duty. Lord Kitchener said, he would 
himself undertake. 

Arrived at the Palace Yard he drew his escort up 
around the palings to hold in check the immense crowds 
of people, come to see one of the mightiest happenii^s 



242 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

of modem times Then with erect head and military 
tread, he entered the sacred precincts and marrliing 
steadily down between the opposing benches mounted 
the Speaker^s chair. 

The members stared (q>en-mouthed ; what could this 
intrusion mean? How dared this man thus violate the 
laws of centuries? What right had he to thus disturb 
their legislation ? He was not long in answering all these 
questions. 

Amidst a breathless silence, bom of great expectancy. 
Lord Kitchener spoke as follows : — 

*• Gentlemen, — I am not a man of many words and 
have besides, little time to spare for speech-making ; 
but my reason for this intrusion can be explained in a 
few brief sentences. For centuries it has been your 
privilege in this free country to debate and discuss any 
question or measure whatsoever without restrictioxL 
Though your patriotism as a whole has not and never 
will be doubted, it is nevertheless inimicable to British 
interests that matters concerning this war be openly 
discussed or debated, to be further commented upon in 
the less patriotic section of the Press. With a view to 
preventing the enemy from gaining further advantage 
through this lack of discretion, this Houses ceases to 
exist until such time as the Committee of Defence shall 
in the future notify. That is all I have to say." 

To say the members were astoimded is to put a mild 
description to their feelings. For a space they were too 
dumbf oimded to utter a word But the majority reo^- 
nised the force and value of the General's remarks and 
walked immediately out of the chamber. Soon about 
one hundred alone remained. Lord Kitdiener looked 
at them with an amused smile. 



LORD KITCHENER TO THE FORE 243 

" Gentlemen, I can give you two minutes,'* was all he 
said, and looked at a watch strapped around his wrist 

Then at last the storm broke. Robbed of their power 
to damage their native land, their wings of evil clipped 
for good, the caddish section burst into a wholesale 
recrimination of the great man who was risking so much 
for his country's sake. Lord Kitchener listened un- 
moved, the same contemptuous smile playing round his 
hard mouth. Thrice he glanced at his watch, and at 
the third time he drew a whistle from a side pocket and 
held it to his lips. Twenty seconds passed. 

" Time is up, gentlemen," he said and blew two shrill 
blasts upon the little instrument In a moment many 
score of stalwart uniformed men rushed in and stood 
in a circle around the helpless and raging legislators, — 
now cowed into silence and submission by this drastic 
method of closing the House in which they so admired 
hearing the sound of their own voices. Again the 
General spoke, this time with stem insistence. 

" Gentlemen, to have disobeyed me is treason, but at 
present I am prepared to overlook the offence. I have 
already delayed too long and must request your imme- 
diate withdrawal All those still here in one minute by 
my watch will be imprisoned for six months; two 
minutes — and the months will have become years ; but 
if three minutes should elapse before you are all gone, 
those still remaining will be summarily shot ! !" 

There was a wild stampede and in thirty seconds the 
Chamber was in possession of Lord Kitchener and his 
men. 

" They are not brave, these renegades," he said, and 
laughed heartily at the final ignominious retreat of the 
recalcitrant few. 

He shut the doors and with his own hands locked 



344 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

them, handing the keys to an aide. Thus did Govern- 
ment pass into the hands of the two most capable men 
in England, — ^Lord Kitchener in London, who initiated 
and evolved the moves in this great game of war ; and 
Sir John Angler at Portsmouth, at the very seat of 
action, who directed the carrying out of Kitchener's ideas 
and superintended in person everything connected with 
the Navy. And these two, who were by Marconi instru- 
ments in constant touch one with the other, were ably 
supported and grandly backed up by a large and efficient 
staflF of naval and military experts. Under them the 
British Isles speedily became one huge military camp 
and three days before the great naval battle, by which 
the mastery of the sea was regained and the major 
portion of the German Fleet either destroyed or cap- 
tured. Lord Kitchener hafi told the King that at last 
everything was ready for a great combined forward 
movement 

On the evening of the day on which Parliament was 
so suddenly dissolved, the offices of certain newspapers, 
that had been making themselves particularly objection- 
able, were raided and the editors replaced by specially 
chosen men. These journals were published as usuaU 
but their tone had suddenly altered from one of rank 
treason to that of trust and patriotism ! 

Lord Kitchener was working well for Britain. 

If the censorship had been rigourous before, it was 
crushing now and it became a matter of common remark 
that, if one might judge by the papers, the war held little 
if any interest for the English. Occasionally a small 
paragraph was put in,— usually dictated from either the 
War Office or the Admiralty. 

It might be thought that, now the management of 
affairs had passed definitely to the naval and military 



LORD KITCHENER TO THE FORE 245 

authorities, all trouble would cease. This was not so. 
Smarting under a sense of injury, the four score or so 
ejected and unpatriotic legislators stumped the country 
crying their woes, — ^but, for the most part, into deaf ears. 
It so chanced that one of them, a man who had risen 
to a high position in a former Ministry in spite of his 
known proclivities towards Little Englandism, had 
arranged an immense meeting in Manchester for the 
very Monday night that the Japanese arrived just in the 
nick of time.^ About four tliousand men, attracted by 
his great name and undoubted personality, had come to 
hear him and he was giving a strong, passionate speech 
in condemnation of Lord Kitchener's daring act The 
Hall was moved by the studied vehemence of his 
address, and not a few of his listeners were carried away 
by his heated words and well-turned arguments. 

"There, gentfemen, there are patriots for you," he 
yelled at the top of his voice, — " what think you we can 
expect from such as these. What knowledge can they 
possess of legislation? What is to become of those 
important measures which the Government had given 
its bonded word should pass this session ? I say the 
treatment meted out to us is scandalous, — nay, without 
precedent and to be met with stem resistance. 
"What of their excuse? That they may the better 
conduct this iniquitous war, they say. Nonsense, I 
" answer to that, gentlemen — ^absolute nonsense. At the 
" back of all their fine words I find only one thing : the 
awful spectre of self, — ^greedy, unrighteous self. What 
" would I do in the circumstances ? asks a gentleman at 
the back of the Hall. I thank him for the question as 
it leads me up to the main reason for holding this 
" meeting, — a meeting of protest, I may term it I will 
tell him^ — ^arid you, what I would do and why I would 



if 

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246 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

** do it, — and beginning at the end, my reasons for the 
" decision I have arrived at are the following : — 

" Granted we were taken by surprise, — ^then I say a 
" grave diarge is laid at the door of the Admiralty. As, 
" however, lack of foresight, and efficient preparation has 
" involved us in this dreadful conflict, what is our duty to 
*' the people, — ^to the masses, — ^to you, gentlemen, here in 
« this Hall? What is our duty? 

*' I look around me as I go through the country side 
''and see nothing but sorrow and moumix^: here a 
" cottage lacking a master, — he, alas ! killed by a German 
** bullet There a home whence came three stalwart 
" fellows, their mothei^s pride, adored, maybe, by sweet 
*^ girls ; they also are dead Each day Death takes her 
•* toll, adding ever life to life — ^and with each life gone 
** out, a world of misery creeps in. Their workers gone, 
''the wives, sisters^ sweethearts and aged parents see 
" starvation staring them in the face, — and if amongst 
^ you be one who has lacked a good meal, he or she will 
" well understand what this means." 

A cry went up from the back of the Hall and several 
sobs came from different coiners of the audience. They 
had indeed to mourn many a loss, — and this man played 
well upon their unhappiest memories. He noted the 
effect of his words and raising his voice to its fullest 
power, spoke the sentences to which he had been leading 
up: — 

"Ah! ah! am I speaking truly? Ladies and gentle- 
" men, I spake thus to good purpose. Remember that in 
" every war there must be a loser, — and the loser though 
"perhaps sufferii^ in amour propre is nevertheless 
" chastened in spirit and ready to recommence life from 
"another standpoint Is it so fearful a thing to be 
" conquered ? Who has been beaten in his youth and 



LORD KITCHENER TO THE FORE 247 

" not acknowledged the advantageous outcome of that 
" diastisement in after-life ? It is no great matter this 
" ' giving-in/ and, maybe, from evil will spring a f oimt 
" of national good. This then is my advice, — call a truce 
"to useless bloodshed, murder in the sight of the 
" Almighty, — call a fruce and see upon what terms the 
" blessings of universal peace may be obtained Re- 
" member this, — every dog has his day ! Have we had 
" ours ? I think so and we must accept the inevitable and 
" put as fair a face to matters as we may. The British 
" Empire as a world nation has rushed to meet its doom» 
" — ^England and her Colonies are come to an end ** 

"Liar!!!" 

A great voice sounded far at the back of the Hall and 
a bronzed man stood upon a chair calmly confronting the 
astonished audience. Immediately cries arose, some 
taking the one side and some the other, " Turn him out ! 
Maul the man! He's right! Hold yer row! Why 
shouldn't he speak!" and so on through the whole 
gamut of usual hurled sentences. At the last the 
chairman gained a hearing and having begged for quiet 
announced that the speaker of the evening would be 
pleased if his interrupter would step up on to the plat- 
form and state his reasons for doubting the truth of what 
he had heard. 

The man, a gentleman obviously, at once shouldered 
his way through the crowd and, mounting the platform, 
stood a moment breathing hard, — ^he was much out of 
breath as though he had run hot haste to the meeting. 
In a minute, and after a drink of water, he began as 
follows amidst a dead silence : — 

"Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, — I can't 
" speak for nuts so please don't expect a speech. By 
"name I am Captain Leonard Harbnall, Government 



I 



348 THE WAR INEVITABLE 






Supervisor of Tel^^raphs and Post Ofl&ces in this great 

dty and I chanced, in the fulfihnent of my duty, to fall 
" upon certain information which I considered of interest 
** to this meeting, — b, meeting organised by the ' stop-the- 
" war party ' " — he spoke the final sentence sneeringly 
with a withering look at the speaker of the evening. 
The latter dropped his gaze feeling instinctively, as 
did the whole audience, that something was coming to 
render the gathering futile and a farce. 

"I came hot-haste," continued the newcomer, "and 
" apologise for shortness of breath. But my haste was 
" well rewarded for as I entered the door my ears caught 
" the words ' England and her Colonies are come to an 
" end,' and it gave me infinite satisfaction to contradict 
" the statement with some vigoiu:. I believe I called 
" this patriotic speaker, this exquisite Englishman," the 
last with crushing contempt, " a liar ; I repeat my state- 
ment and will proceed to prove it 

"Ladies and Gentlemen, — ^this man counsels sur- 
render to a blackguard enemy and would throw up 
" the sponge at any cost ; he considers his native land 
*' as already belonging to another and would give it a 
" helping kick on the downward path as he calls it" 

Here the chairman and speaker tried to interfere, — 
but the bluff and genuine manner of the soldier had 
given him supporters aild cries of "Let him speak," 
"YouVe had your turn," etc., induced them both to 
remain quiet, though it may safely be said no platform of 
ladies and gentlemen ever felt so uncomfortable or so 
frightened of impending disaster. The Captain went 
on: — 

" This evening, — ^ten minutes ago, — a message came 
" through to me and this message I give to you people 
"of Manchester; it will I fear prove a blow to this 



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LORD KITCHENER TO THE FORE 249 

reputable party upon the platform. England is done, 
indeed ! What do you think of this, then ? 
"'British and Japanese Fleets to-day met and 

annihilated the German '" he got no further. 

Cheer on cheer rose from the excited audience, — louder 
and louder. But the news-bearer waved them to silence 
whilst he read the remaining telegrams copied upon a 
sheet of paper held between his hands. 

" When I have finished, my friends, cheer as you will 
" We can do with it As I was saying, ' British and 
" Japanese Fleets to-day met and annihilated German 
Fleets. All hostile battleships and armoured cruisers 
sunk or captured. (Cheers.) One hundred and fifty 
thousand Japanese troops under Generals Kuroki and 
Nogi are now landing,---(Loud and prolonged cheers) 
— ^are now landmg at Devonport and other places! 
Large Colonial Forces (Vociferous cheering, uproar on 
the platform) are approaching Dover and other places ! 
Detachments of Indian and Canadian troops steaming 
"imder escort towards the east coast! (Frenzied 
outburst of wild cheering.) Lord Kitchener 
" leaving at once to assume supreme command for final 
movement (Paroxysms of delight, howls, cat-calls, and 
" whoops of joy) Duke of Connaught takes command of 
" Third Army (Yells and further cheers) Lord Roberts 

''takes command " but what Lord Roberts was to 

command was never learnt, for by now the entire 
audience was standing up — for the most part on chairs 
— shrieking, yelling, cheering, making, to be brief, an 
infernal noise; it was a fine outlet for their pent-iq> 
feelings. Just then someone noticed the ex-M.P. and 
Little Englander slinking gingerly to a door and raised 
a cry of: 
" There goes the scoimdrel ; stop him, men, and we'll 



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350 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

marie him !" la a second the room was in a uproar and 
above the turmoil came wild threats of "Ljmch the 
blackguard 1 Murder him I Wring his adjective neck I 
Let me just get a hand cm himl !" . . . and such like 
remarics. But he had reached the door and seeing bis 
audience thirsting for his blood behind him, rushed 
through and then turned the key on his frenzied and 
baffled pursuers. In vain they tu^ed at the locked 
door, — the stout bolt would not give ; men were rushing 
to the other exits to cut off his escape when a fearful 
shriek of agony came from without followed by the 
booii^ of a vast crowd. 

Captain Harbnall blanched and calling to a few near 
him made for an exit 

■ Come on, gentlemen, as quickly as you can, or your 
friend will be murdered !" 

Outside the main doors a seething mass of men stood, 
— ^impenetrable, hot and angry. The gaze of all lay 
rivetted upon a huge arc-lamp standard in the middle of 
tlie square. Again an awful, dread shriek arose and 
before Harbnall or his friends could move a pace 
ftwward someone flung a rope over the out-hanging iron 
branch and in a trice the kickii^, floundering sprawling 
body of the erstwhile legislator was tugged fifteen feet 
above the ground. They had lynched him ! 

A lady jabbered incoherently, yelled with wild 
laughter and fell down the stone steps, unconscious. 
It was his wife. A man beside Harbnall was violently 
sick and leant retching against a pillar, whilst somewhere 
in the crowd a guttural voice solemnly chanted a pass^e 
from the service for the dead. 

" Oh, my God !" gasped the shocked officer, as the 
scene explained itself to him, " lynched ! good Heavens ; 
and he a Minister of the Crown I Poor Devil,— may h" 
g^ fcffgiveness in the hereafter." 



LORD KITCHENER TO THE FORE 25 1 

" Amen to that," said a burly working man below him, 
" tho' 'e desarved it all the time, sir." 

Then the crowd made a rush for the doors and a voice 
advised "Lets treat all the platform the same, — ^no 
favouritism." The scared men and women huddled 
around Harbnall and implored his aid; in a voice 
powerful as a bull's roar, he cried 

" Stop ! you have done enough. Would you help the 
Germans in their bloody work ? Go and fight your real 
foe and be worthy your name of Englishmen !" 

They halted, wavered, looked around at one another 
and started a wild cheer. A little group at the back 
commenced the national anthem and presently from 
many thousand throats rose that grand hymn, swelling 
with patriotism and love of the great monarch who ruled 
them. 

Above all swimg listlessly the body of the once 
Cabinet Minister, an intense glare shining on the dead 
day from above, — to and fro ; to and fro. 



1 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

How the Yellow Men Landed in England 

What Captain Harbnall had said was true ; not only 
had a large Japanese force landed in England, but 
considerable contingents from the more important 
Colonies had set oflF under Japanese escort to succour 
the parent country. So suddenly had the war broken 
out that many huge liners were on their way to or from 
the East and these, warned in good time, either remained 
•out East or, in the case of those westward bound, put 
about and returned to their place of departure. And to 
good use were they put, — moreover the slow journey of 
the Japanese Fleet was now explained. It had perforce 
to wait at this port and at that to collect the many 
colonial contingents as they came in from their varied 
<lirections. 

The Japanese Fleet in its original composition 
included eight first class battleships and an equal number 
of huge armoured cruisers, besides half a dozen cruisers 
of the protected class and nine scouts. These had in 
convoy forty transports and eighteen colliers and store- 
ships ; amongst the transports were three great North 
"German Lloyd vessels of about 13,000 tons, taken from 
the Germans early in the war, and two leviathans 
captured from Russia some years before. The remaining 
-ships were all large, the finest of the Holt Line, Nippon 
Yusen Kaisha, Toyo Kisen Kaisha, with, lastly, the three 
fine " Empress " liners of the C.P.R., and little difficulty 
was foimd in accommodating the 152,000 troops sent 
west by the Mikado's advisers to rescue their monarch 
and aid their Ally. 



HOW THE YELLOW MEN LANDED 255 

But whilst the preparations for this immense force 
were going forward in Japan, similar preparations on a 
smaller scale were being hurriedly conducted in 
Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and India. The 
Cape also was hard at work organizing and drilling. 

Thus when the Japanese Veterans reached Singapore, 
a fine fleet of Holt and P. and O. Liners rode quietiy at 
anchor awaiting them and from their crowded sides came 
ringing British cheers ; Tasmania and Australia had 
sent 32,000 of their best, whilst of New Zealand's youtb 
12,000 had come forward willing to sail fourteen 
thousand miles and avenge the insult to a dearly loved 
mother-land. 

After a fortnight's delay the armada of revenge set 
out once again towards Ceylon and in three weeks lay 
sweltering in Colombo Harbour. A delay of five weeks 
took place here, — but from England flashed the news 
that matters were not pressing and as yet Portsmouth 
had not even been isolated. So Togo and the Generals 
did not fluster; everything was being done with the 
maximum of celerity, and day after day ship-loads of 
soldiers came in, — hundreds of swarthy Dogras, thirsting 
for the fray, thousands of nimble Goorkhas lovingly 
fingering their razor-edged kookris, tens of thousands of 
stalwart Sikhs, stem, unbending men, never known to 
flinch^ ever ready for a fight When finally the anchors 
were raised and the huge concourse of ships pointed 
south towards the Cape of Good Hope, there were con- 
siderably over one hundred units all told. The speed 
of so vast a fleet was of necessity slow, averaging no 
more than ten nautical miles to the hour. 

At Cape Town the battleship "Hizen" developed 
certain minor defects and one of the transports, the 
"Warwickshire" of the Bibby Line, ran aboard the 



254 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

battleship ''Sagami'' necessitating a visit to dock 
extending over three weeks. The gallant Japanese 
Admiral fretted terribly over this enforced delay, but 
wisely decided not to proceed until the two injured and 
important units had been completely repaired. 

At last the end of the voyage came in sight and he 
halted at Gibraltar and considered what he should do 
with his convoy in the event of his meetmg the enemy. 
He finally decided to send them west, whilst he with his 
sixteen warships steered directly for the German fleet, 
the movements of which were well known to him, he 
having been in constant wireless communication with 
England since reaching the Rock. It is hardly necess- 
ary to remind my readers that interference with wireless 
signalling had been rendered qtiite impossible owing to 
the perfected system of tuning now employed by every 
nation. This special ** tuning '' could not be known to 
an enemy except through a code book wherein in cypher 
were instructions notifying the essentials for obtaining 
that "tuning." Hence, though radiations had on 
occasion vibrated the Teuton instruments, the efifect had 
been nil since they were absolutely devoid of meaning, 
the same statement applied of course to the British 
receivers. 

. For some time Togo steamed slowly north, and had 
just completed his plans for the dispersal of the transport 
fleet when a message came through from Admiral Angler 
telling him of the Kaiser's escape and of his intention 
immediately to proceed to sea and engage the enemy. 
From that moment onwards the Japanese Admiral was 
kept in dose communication with the British fleet and he 
knew as each minute passed how the battle was going 
with his allies. When he at length learnt that the 
superiority of the Germans was no more than three 



-i-1 



HOW THE YELLOW MEN LANDED 255 

vessels, — ^ten Teutcms to seven British, — ^he signalled his 
four fastest battleships and an equal number of powerful 
armoured cruisers to raise their speed to the highest and 
follow him. His own ship was capable of over twenty 
knots but he did not exceed seventeen and was delighted 
to receive a message from the three " Mikasa " class that 
they could do an extra three-quarters of a knot if need 
be ; mus at nearly eighteen knots the Japanese squadron, 
as we have seen, headed the flying German remnant 
and had no little to do with their ultimate surrender. 
The remaining seven armoured Japanese ships had been 
left to guard the convoy against possible marauders. 

When the combined British and Japanese Fleets with 
their ten prizes reached the Isle of Wight, Admiral 
Angler called a council meeting in Prince Louis's cabin« 
the Japanese Admirals being invited to attend. The 
proposition set them by Sir John was the following : — 

" The Germans have a battery of large guns mounted 
*' on a position commanding the Town and Dockyard ; 
** but they are not making use of these owing to a threat 
" of death to their monarch who was captured on the 

'Elsass.' Now the Kaiser has fled The question 

is : — ^has he reached his friends and adjured them not 
" to fire until we return, or has he as yet been unable to 
" make good his escape ?" 

For some considerable time these men of warfare 
debated the question and at last it was decided to anchor 
the ships in Sandown Bay, where one of the captured 
German ships had to be beached to save her from 
sinking. In the meantime a message had been flashed 
across to General Baron Nogi to steam in with twenty 
thousand troops. By sun-down the Japanese transports 
had arrived and the hero of Port Arthur was given a 
hurried outline of the situation. 



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2S6 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

" What I want to know Baron," said Sir John Angler, 
looked admiringly at the nut-brown httle veteran, — *' is 
whether you can rush those guns ?'' 

For ten minutes the General examined a contour map 
c£ the position and asked a dozen searching questions 
about it He quickly made up his mind, 

** You shall have the position in two days. Sir, John,'* 
he said deliberately, with that quaint hesitation of k man 
accustomed only to his native tongue, " but I must have 
a few more men/* 

" What, more than twenty-thousand ?" queried several 
of his listeners in a breath, 

** If the hill is all-important," said the stem soldier, 
" then the loss in lives is not a matter for consideration. 
The soldiers of Japan " he cried, raising his voice, " are 
proud to die for their revered sovereign." 

" You will not fail, General " asked Prince Louis, " for 
failure at this time might prove fatal to our plans/' 

" I will not fail," replied Nogi with conviction, " but to 
make more certain, let the additional soldiers be British. 
Give me Dogras and Goorkhas, — they have much in 
common with my men and a spirit of competition will 
be aroused which will be beneficial in increasing the 
mutual dash and sustaining the stamina." 

As this sentence was translated to the Admirals, — ^for 
Baron Nogi could not say much in English, — they 
epplauded him. In less than five minutes the liners 
bearing ten thousand Dogras and Goorkhas had been 
called up and directed to make with all speed for Ports- 
mouth. General Nogi had decided to tsike the bull by 
the horns and steam straight into the Harbour and land 
his men, — ^judging it certain that the guns would already 
have opened fire on the Docks and Workshops had the 
Kaiser managed to rejoin his own cotmtry men. More* 



HOW THE YELLOW MEN LANDED 257 

over he had night to aid him and much wished to get all 
the business over before daybreak. And in these daj^ 
things moved quickly, — delays were features of a past 
age and celerity had long ruled where dilatoriness once 
upon a time was a bye-word 

Now one piece of good fortune had fallen to the 
British Forces. When the German warships had 
surrendered to their superior foe, boats had been put oflF 
from the British attendant protected cruisers with crews 
to take possession The German officers* first care in 
every ship had been not unnaturally to rush for the Code 
Book and cast it in its leaded cover into the sea. But 
on board the " Hessen " an accident had prevented this 
being done immediately. One of the masts had been 
shot down and, in f alUng, had barred the way to the 
captain's safe in which the code was kept Hard 
laboured the two senior officers still alive to reach it and 
as the British prize crew mounted the torn and battered 
side of the Teuton battleship, they had just succeeded 
in levering the safe into a position in which it could be 
opened. In a trice the key was in the lock and a moment 
later one of the lieutenants was speeding up the twisted 
iron ladder on to the deck. He saw a burly Jack Tar 
standing, bare-footed, at the head of the gangway, but 
without heeding him rushed to the side and threw the 
book overboard. Instead of the splash he anticipated, 
a loud imprecation ascended from below. He turned as 
white as a sheet and peered over the bulwarks. 

He had thrown the book into an English gig ! 

And it had fallen on a naked toe, — ^and hence the full- 
flavoured swearing that greeted him. 

By the evening a number of British Marconi apparati 
were tuned to the German standard and presently useful 
information was pouring into the British camp in a 

Q 



asS THE WAR INEVITABLE 



cypher easily translated by the aid of the captured code. 
Moreover the German Headquarters was the recipient of 
some astounding messages, — messages they could not 
but believe as t^y were transmitted in their seciet code! 
And it was well advertised in the English papers that 
'^ unfortunately all the code-books had been thrown 
overboard in deep water before the surrendered ships 
were taken possession of/' 

That particular Monday night was sombre and 
douded, and guided by sidlled pilots a small fleet of 
huge liners crept carefully into Portsmouth Harbour and 
were without delay berthed alongside the vacant 
wharves. By three o'clock next mcnrning the first to be 
emptied of its livix^ cargo was towed by tugs out into 
the Solent ; and under its own steam, and the escort of 
two large protected cruisers, it made for a rendezvous 
previously appointed With short intervals ship after 
ship discharged its load and left ; so when the first light 
of morning came, no more than eight transports still 
remained And as the troops were put ashore they were 
marched without delay to the station and entrained, five 
hundred at a time, and conveyed the five or six miles 
forward to the British lines. All they carried was their 
arms and sufficient food for twenty-four hours, — ^their 
work would brook no delay. And this mobilization toc^ 
place with astonishing quietness, — ^so quietly indeed, 
that until midday on the Tuesday the people of Ports- 
mouth had' no idea that a single unit had been added to 
their defences. Yet round about the captured hill 
Japanese and Indian troops were creeping up,— ever 
advancii^, foot by foot Thirty thousand there were 
in all, the finest fighters in the world 

Every English defender was withdrawn ; Barcm Nogi 
laid it down as a condition that this time the new- 



HOW THE YELLOW MEN LANDED 259 

comers, if they were to claim the subsequent glory of 
the victory, should at least have the entire brunt of the 
assault , 

Foot by foot they advanced, taking advantage of 
every speck of cover, moving with the skill of the North 
American trapper and the quiet of a stalking tiger. 
Little the Germans knew of this danger drawing ever 
nearer, — ^nearer. 

Whilst this surrounding movement was taking place at 
the very centre of operations, other matters were rapidly 
develc^ing around the invaders of equal if not greater 
importance. In the early hours of Tuesday a number 
of ships flying the British Ensign and that of the Rising 
Sun appeared off L3ane Regis, — this port had been held 
by the British Troops against all westerly attacks of the 
Germans. An hour later Sidmouth, Exmouth, Teign- 
mouth and Torquay were similarly astonished to see 
transports anchored as dose into land as their draught 
would permit Presently at all five places thousands of 
soldiers were debarking and with them guns, horses, 
provisions, — ^all the impedimenta of a huge field force. 
As they landed, well organised trains steamed east with 
them to the front One set of metals ran train on train 
at one minute intervals eastwards, whilst down the other 
set poured empty vehicles. All worked like clockwork, 
smoothly and without a hitch. Later in the day more 
ships cast anchor in Bridgwater Bay and at other points 
along the Bristol Channel; Harwich, which had been 
taken by the Germans and converted into a base for a 
northerly attack upon the Metropolis, was bombarded by 
a few small cruisers and presently retaken as well as a 
large quantity of stores. Dover saw thirty thousand 
landed and despatched west at high speed. 
The meshes were closing fast about the invaders ! 



36o THE WAR INEVITABLE 

Meantime Lord Kitchener had compkted his own 
plans and over a million stem men» bent on a lasting 
revenge, awaited the word to rush against the audadoos 
foe, — now at last cot off for all time from their own 
country. 

But the crucial moment was not yet Twenty five 
thousand active MiUtia and Volunteer tnx^ were on 
their way from Canada and would arrive on the Thurs- 
day and Friday in the huge Allan, White Star and 
Cunard Gners. Then the forward movement would 
begin in earnest The hardest feature of the situation 
lay in the strongly f <»tified hills about Portsmouth, — for 
here the Germans had employed all their skill and art in 
the matter of defensive works and to breach them at any 
point seemed almost an impossibility. But we had on 
our side the greatest Uvix^ master of attack, — General 
Baron Nogi, and to him we looked for guidance in the 
great matter of pierdi^ the Teuton lines. And he 
helped us splendidly, his war-worn veterans running to 
the battle as to a pleasure party, — aye ! those were days 
<»f heroes, yellow heroes^ blade heroes^ white heroes, all 
heroic in a vastly patriotic courage. 



CHAPTER XXVIIL 

The Fight around the 

Captain Ebcrkraft of Wilhelm Hill, as the captured 
eminence had been renamed, was sitting on a gun- 
platform overlooking the town of Portsmouth. It was 
Tuesday evenii^ and the sun had just gone down 
behind a bank of light filmy clouds, — a much different 
evening to that of the night before. He dozed in the 
balmy air of the late summer evening and wondered in 
his dreams when he should have a chance to use the six 
fine guns he commanded, — so strong and yet so weak. 
A sentry going his rounds touched his shoulder and 
whispered into his starded ear, 

"A moving man did you say, where? quickly?** 
demanded Eberkraft, and he followed the pointing 
finger of the extended arm. A dull figure could just be 
distinguished against the sombre darkness of the soil, 
a darkness intensified in that the shadows and the 
evening Ught blended in one indefinite grey. For a 
moment the young ofiicer looked and then gave an order 
in a whisper. 

" It is a single man ; bring me Klii^en and Schuss^ — 
we will try and capture him," 

Three forms stole silently out of the small redoubt, — 
two from one side, one from the other, and converging 
noiselessly towards the figure first seen, crept inch on 
inch towards the unsuspectix^ man. Eberkraft could 
see he was dressed in a British uniform and wondered 
at the audacity of the spy,— for such he must surely be. 
He crouched behind a rock and waited the oncoming 



262 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

man. A minute passed, — ^he could hear the heavy 
breathing ; five seconds elapsed and the Captain had 
leapt forward and was kneeling across the prostrate 
figure of the mysterious stranger, holding a large service 
xevc^ver to his head 

" Ein Wort, und sie sind Tod !** he hissed, pressii^ the 
chilly muzzle into the skin of his captive. Here he 
received a shock, for a voice sighed in perfect German, 

'' Gott set dank, — entlich V* the man had fainted ! 

With great care the officer and two soldiers lifted the 
ttnccMisdous man and bore him behind the redoubt and 
into the shelter of a bomb-proof. Eberkraft seized a 
lamp and held it to the white face of his prisoner. He 
started bade, astonished. 

"GottesHimmel! der Kaiser 1 1 r 

In a minute he was at the side of his monarch doing 
all he could to resuscitate him. It was only a swoon and 
a little neat spirit soon brought the colour back into his 
wan cheeks. The King looked about him. 

" Wo bin ich ?" he enquired anxiously. 

''Mit Freunde, Majestat," answered Eberkraft^ 
tenderly helping his sovereign into a sitting positioa A 
few sentences explained matters and the Kaiser gave a 
sig^ of immense satisfaction on finding himself once 
more in the hands of friends. He said he had not 
expected to find friends and imagined he was crossing 
the last crest in the hands of the defenders. He had 
also not eaten for many hours and Eberkraft speedily 
set meat and drink before him. 

*' Tell me, sir, your name," queried the Kaiser, looking 
up of a sudden at his saviour. 

*' Captain Eberkraft, sire " replied the young maa 

"Then Captain Eberkraft, I promote you Major 
on my personal Staff, and endow you with the Iron Cros& 



THE FIGHT AROUND THE HILL 263 

The joation needs such men as you. But, tell me, why 
have you not used these guns so well placed for damag- 
ing the Town and Dockyard ?" 

Eberkraft told the Kaiser of Admiral Angler's 
stratagem and the King swore tmder his breath at the 
trick that had been played by his erstwhile captor. 

" Well, now, set to work at once. If it be the ill- 
fortune of my son Oscar, who is still a prisoner, to be 
killed at our hands, I must accept it No sacrifice is 
too great for the honour and success of the German 
arms.'' 

By this time news of the Kaiser's arrival amongst his 
own people had spread through the German troops and 
these gave cheer on cheer as they learnt of the glad 
occurrence. The Kaiser himself, sdFter a short rest, went 
down the lines to Headquarters and was received by 
Baron Mugglestein with all solicitude. 

But before he had been safely settled in a comfortable 
bed for a sorely needed sleep, a great crash sounded 
from Wilhelm Hill and six shells ploughed lanes oi 
destruction through Portsmouth houses. Another loud 
report and a similar number fell clatterrug down into 
the dock-yard — ^wild shooting, of course, but the night 
was comparatively dark, thot^h clear. The guns were 
speakix^ at last I 

The heavens were now Kt by a myriad of twinklii^ 
stars and but for the methodical reports of the great 
guns, hurling out their steelen projectiles upon the sleep- 
ing town, — though few aKve slept now, whilst not a few 
slept for ever, — a comparative silence reigned, — the calm 
before the storm. At midnight a dozen small Hghts 
appeared around the hill in a great circle, — ^the Japanese 
were repeating the tactics of Port Arthur and had 
ignited flares to guide the artillery of the neighbouring 



264 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

forts. Scarcely had the lights from these burned an 
inch high before an awful rain of shells was flung into the 
dark centre, the explosions putting to shame many a 
volcano of evil repute and blasting great quarries out of 
the solid hill side. 

The assault had b^^ as suddenly as a lightning- 
flash. And the Germans knew it well and hurried 
thousands upon thousands of reserves up to the 
threatened point, — it was indeed to be a fight of giants^ 
For two hours the devilishly bombardment continued, 
not because it was hoped thereby to drive the Germans 
from their posts, but because under its shelter the 
Japanese and their hardy little allies from northemlndia 
were cutting sap-trenchcs and constructing parallels upon 
the most scientific and approved principle, and by this 
means were every moment getting nearer and nearer to 
their objective. As the night rolled on and searchlights 
gleamed from a score of different heights, the work of 
killing grew more furious. A sharp counter fire had 
commenced and shells fell thickly amongst the massed 
reserves, necessitating their removal to a more sheltered 
place. Star*shells burst high in the air, speeding, 
rocket-like, thousands of feet above the forts discharging 
them, and as they burst crackling into a hundred twink- 
ling lights, small but excessively brilliant spurts, of flame 
shot from the darkness, and shells smashed death-ful 
into the illumined space. For with each boom of a 
cannon came the greater crash of a splitting projectile 
close to or in the middle of the ground upon which the 
phosphorous lights glittered Then of a sudden a hoarse 
order sounded far down in the valley, and the tramp of 
scurrying feet rai^ clear between the roar of guns. The 
Japanese were making their first assault 

A German searchlight flitting over the hill-side un- 



THE FIGHT AROUND THE HILL 265 

masked the assaulteis and commenced to work violently 
up and down the sky, signalling a new menace to the 
garrison. Of a sudden the light went out and the 
gallant Japs were left to work their way forward in the 
impenetrable smoke and blackness. The British guns 
had now ceased and the pants of the mounting men 
carried far across the dear air. The assaulters were 
allowed to press nobly up the slopes and get within 
pistol-shot before the Germans greeted them with rapid 
volleys and, from a supporting fort, opened a regtdar 
cloud-burst of decimating shell-fire. In hundreds the 
brave men fell, yet regardless of life the Japanese 
infantry went on with their storming resolved to a man 
either to win or die. In ten minutes they had reached 
the parapet and, getting into a dead angle, a few score 
of them calmly squatted down, and lighting a number of 
hand^renades from a perforated bucket of live charcoal, 
(brought up by a sapper) commenced a lively grenade 
bombardment of the interior. For a few minutes the air 
simply quivered with these deadly missiles, but the 
tables turned with a vengeance as a troop of Germans 
forming a sortie party rushed, with bayonets fixed, upon 
the small group of Japanese. 

The little Easterners fought magnificently, but were 
outnumbered by more than four to one and were all 
bayonetted. This ended the first assault upon Wilhelm 
HilL That night four similar attempts were made and 
each time repulsed with severe loss, — the Germans were 
not going to give in until every cartridge had been fired 
or every man killed The knowledge that their new 
enemies were Japanese had given them, too, the courage 
of despair. They remembered 203 Metre Hill at Port 
Arthur and realized that though they might repulse them 
a hundred times, if the Japanese had made up their 



3fi6 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

miiids to take the position, take it they would, be the 
ooit what it may.. 

That first night's onslaught gave no return but dead, 
and frenzied men with half a dozen gaping wounds were 
drilled through and through with rifle-fire by the 
Germans who had become like wild animals with a lust 
for blood A hideous chortling of maviinft and other 
automatic guns, the wierd and continuous knock! 
knock ! ! knock ! ! ! of a score of pom-poms, conf used» 
distinct and again confused rifle-voUeying searched the 
blood-stenched air, — and then, nothing; the assaulters 
were shot down to a man. At a word the artillery spoke 
once more and tore and blasted the hill of death with a 
tornado of high-explosives. Next day as light came 
slowly through the gloom of hanging smoke, it was seen 
that of the former ccmtour of Wilhelm height but a 
slight resemblance remained. It had lost much of its 
height and a jutting peak to the west, once prominent, 
had been battered away until there remained a gently 
sloping mound to mark where once a point had been. 
The hill appeared as though a hundred quarries had been 
worked out and the shattered stone cast rubbish-wise 
down the steep slopes : for on every hand were huge 
craters formed by a score of shell holes and aroimd the 
rim of each were splinters of rock and steeL 

And mixed up in this awful debris were scattered 
thousands of bodies, some hmbless, all torn and 
mutilated beyond the powers of recognition. Small 
rivulets of turgid blood gurgled slowly adown the rocky 
gullies and occasionally a detached head slipped off its 
stony catchment and fell to bounding over the slope 
towards the valley. Every art of war had added a new 
agony to death and amongst the dead clay of these brave 
fighters lay rifles, bayonets, grenades, swords and 



f 



THE FIGHT AROUND THE HILL 267 

accoutrements of every description, — and tons, tons of 
steelen shells and lead from rifle bullets. Yet of the 
mass iying there not a man moved ; all had been killed 
and more than killed, slain a thousand times and then 
torn asunder still to add to death. It was war, indeed. 

Next day the assault continued unabated; though 
robbed of a complete success, the Japanese and native 
troops had made considerable progress and their 
trenches were much nearer and more favourably placed 
than one might have expected in view of the stubborn 
defence. All through the day two of the guns, so well 
placed by the Germans as to be out of reach of the 
British artillery, flung shot on shot down into the Dock- 
yard and hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of 
damage was done. 

At midday a parallel had reached to within one 
hundred and fifty yards of the summit and a young 
Japanese ofiicer. Captain Iwamura, offered to lead 
tibree hundred men on a forlorn hope towards the top. 
Permission having been granted he gave a wave of his 
sword and followed by his men, rushed forward to 
almost certain death. Some such^ act was anticipated^ 
however, and as the Japanese, (yelling a loud Banzai !) 
cleared the trench, an equal number of Germans shouting 
hoarse war-cries jumped from the escarpment and ran ta 
meet their foe. Their ofiicer was Major Eberkraft, — 
and a braver sortie has never been recorded. In a 
minute the two bodies met in deadly conflict and, as 
though to watch the fight undisturbed, the artillery duel 
stopped in an instant . 

On they came and were into one another ; heavens». 
how they fought, Teuton and Nipponese. Frenzied to , 
the verge of madness, neither gave a foot and at last but 
three men remained standing. Captain Iwamura, Major 



a68 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

Eberkraft, and a German sergeant The two latter 
made for their small foe, the sergeant glaiix^ like a 
savage beast and brandishing a huge sword. Iwamtira 
smiled and clutched his own blade the tighter in a blood-^ 
stained hand, — he had torn an ear off his last opponentl 

The two Germans closed on their enemy together and 
the sergeant's sword swished whistling through the air ; 
in another second it would have descended on the small 
Japanese had he not leapt nimbly on one side ; the 
shining gore-stained blade slipped from the hand that 
held it and spun clattering fifty yards away. 

In a flash the Js^ was on his giant foe who for a 
moment stared astonished after his lost weapon. 
Eberkraft sprang to intercept him but shpped on a loose 
stone and came down, sprawling. 

Not so the Jap. His heavy sword described a vivid 
circle round his head, an eerie cry came from between 
his narrow little lips and then, — the keen edge fell fair 
across the sergeant's neck. 

A fearful shriek of anguish rose up to the skies and 
the head, severed as neatly as a corn-stalk and wearing 
in death an expression of agonised surprise, leapt from 
the brawny shoulders and tumbled to the feet of Eber- 
kraft, who shrank back horror-struck. The decapitated 
trunk, standii^ still for a brief second, spouted a 
fountain column of blood and then crashed to the 
ground. 

Iwamura grunted with satisfaction, wiped his sword 
on a cap near his feet and turned to Eberkraft ; he noted 
he possessed no weapon and stood sheepishly wondering 
what the Japanese would do to him. His sword had 
been broken at the hilt and his automatic pistol had 
fallen, as he stumbled, into a shell-blasted pit Iwamura 
solved the problem ; flinging his bade away, he held out 



THE FIGHT AROUND THE HILL 26^ 

his hands to signify they were now upon level terms and 
said in quaint English, 

''Ifightyou?" 

Eberkraft understood and nodded ; also he realized it 
would probably be to the death. He first advanced and 
held out his hand and the little Japanese took it and 
shook it heartily. 

" You are ready,** he said, and noted that a thousand 
German heads were watching them from the fort above 
and thrice as many of his country-men stared fascinated 
up from the trenches below. A truce had been declared 
by tadt mutual consent, whilst this single combat was 
fought out 

For a space, a short, pregnant space, the two circled 
about each other and the strange audience had good 
opportunity of viewing the men. The German was a 
fine, healthy young fellow, full of pluck and energy, 
muscular, well-built, weighing may be twelve stones and 
a half, and standing nearly six feet in his stockings. 
The Japanese was in equally good training, equally well 
built and of about the same age , but here tibe resem- 
blance ceased. In he^ht he could not have been more 
than five feet three inches and his weight would be 
nearer nine than ten stone. Yet despite the disparity 
in size he had a confident assurance in his own prowess. 

At last the German closed and boldly seized his lighter 
antagonist by the waist A flash of shooting arms, a 
quick outward thrust and Eberkraft leapt back holding 
his throat ; Iwamura had forced him to relax his hold, 
a dangerous, strengthful hold, by a sudden and painful 
pressure upon the " Adam's apple." His little brown 
eyes spaiided with merriment whilst the German 
muttered an imprecation under his breath and with a 
roar like a Hon made for his sprightly foe This time 



270 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

he was more successful and succeeded in getting fab 
burly head pressed finnly against the chest of his wiiy 
antagonist his muscular arms woimd tightly about the 
buttocks. A quick slip downwards aad Ebedcraft had 
the Jap by the ankles ; he gave a mighty heave with 
his great shoulders and amidst wild shouts from the 
fort, Iwamura was seen flying over the German ofiKcer's 
head, — hands first ! A fall such as this would have ended 
the fight once and for all, but the Jap had no intenticxi 
of such an ending just then. As he ^ot, face dowa 
over his opponent's shoulders, Iwamura gave a l^tning 
glance beneath him and with a movement as sudden as 
it was expected closed his booted feet sharply on either 
side of Eberkraffs neck, — thus not only breaking to a 
large extent the force of his own fall, but simultaneously 
flii^^g the German backwards to the ground 

For a moment they lay as they had dropped^-* 
exhausted; and from the watching Japanese and 
Germans came a thunderous applause. For a space, it 
seemed, the mad toger of the combating nations had 
died away in the momentary but absorbing interest of 
this extraordinary duel 

Eberkraft was the first to rise. Blood ran from a cut 
in the back of his head and he breathed heavily as, with 
hand on hip, he endeavoured to regain bis breath. His 
<q>ponent still lay stretched out,— K)n his back, for he had 
turned over, — ^apparently oblivious to the fact that 
Eberkraft had risen to his feet and was standii^ not ten 
feet away. The German took a step towards his enemy ; 
Iwamura seemed at that moment to be made of i^i^ngs, 
for he was up in a twinkling and awaitix^ the onslaught 

A smile still flickered over his heated face, on which a 
deep gash could be seen, doubtless caused by falling <»i 
a sharp flint 



THE FIGHT AROUND THE HILL 271 

" Him good fall/' he cried, with some spirit, — and the 
troops in the opposing trenches readily grasped his 
meaning and roared with deHght Again the German 
led the attack and this time secured a telling hold which 
all the ingenuity of the Jap seemed unable to sever. 
This way and that they swung in laborious conflict, some- 
times the one giving a pace, at other times the other ; 
once Iwamura fell to a knee and bore his antagonist's 
weight thus, and to the watchers it seemed he must be 
forced back by Eberkraft who brought all his superior 
weight and greater strength into play. But the Jap 
swtuig to one side and the pair twisted as on a pivot 
until the German was working up-hill and the Japanese 
downwards, this giving him a more than compensating 
advantage. 

He rose with a jerk to both feet and, as though struck 
by some idea, dodged smartly to the right, offering a way 
to Eberkraft who, seizing it, as no doubt Iwamura 
desired, went up hill f otur paces and turned on his small 
foe now below him. The Japanese Officer seemed to 
weaken, — at least so the German thought and pressed his 
advantage home with renewed vigour. 

Then the end came, — startUng and dramati<^ 
Iwamura appeared to sUp on a stone, fell backwards with 
his head pointing down hill. Taken completely by 
surprise Eberkraft stumbled forward and sprawled over 
the prostrate body of the Japanese, — ^whose legs were 
curled up on his stomach, the feet pointing upwards. In 
a flash they shot out, lifting the body of the Teuton 
Officer clean into the air and, aided by the impetus of his 
own fall, he landed with a sickening thud ten feet down 
the hill-side. But almost as he fell the Jap. was up again 
and in a bound was sitting astride the fallen man, ready 
to deal with him should this last e£Fort have been in- 
sufficient 



\ 
i 



^72 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

Ebojcraft did not move and Iwamora noticed that his 
ngfat leg was twisted under him in a carious manner. 
He felt quickly over the body and unseen by either side 
slipped a thin sheaf of paper from his antagonist's coat 
into one of hisown pockets. Then he raised the German 
with an eflFort, gently straightening out the broken 1^. 
Still the truce reigned, still the two masses of troops 
stared at this astoundii^ scene, — ^and then came one of 
the greatest deeds of the campaign. Bending down until 
he lay nearly full length upon the ground, Iwamura care- 
fully levered the unconscious form of his foe on to his 
shoulder and raising it with infinite care^ set out slowly 
up the hill towards the fort on the crest! 

Both sides guessed in a moment the raison cPitre of 
this manoeuvre and wild cheers arose in recognition of 
of the most magnanimous act of the war. Arrived at a 
basticm he quietly deposited his burden and awaited two 
German Red Cross bearers sent out to meet him. 

''Bad hurt," he said simply, and, after saluting the 
garriscm strolled carelessly back to his own lines. 

That fight was over I 

Twenty seconds later the assault began again with 
renewed and deadly vigour. General Nogi sent forward 
Lieutenant-General Samejima with ten thousand 
reserves and ordered him in conjunction with the five 
thousand troops already in the firing line, to make a 
direct assault on the eastern and southern sides of the 
|ii11, whilst eight thousand native British troops swarmed 
up the western slope. The infantry were soon ready for 
the attack and were marched down handy guUies and 
valleys to the trenches and parallels to enable them to 
get as near their objective as possible before appearing 
into the open. Arrived at the main parallel heads, they 
were speedily dribbled through the pierced entangle- 



THE FIGHT AROUND THE HILL 273 

ments, and spread about behind the sand-bag and turf 
shelters. When all available cover had been occupied, — 
and the small veterans hid themselves in holes that the 
average mouse would look upon with scorn, — ^the 
reserves were massed at the entrance to the parallels. 

At a bugle note the attack began and presently the 
Japanese were working their way up towards the crest, 
finding plenty of cover in the pits quarried out during 
the initial bombardment Every available Ger&an was 
brought forward to repel them and at least ten thousand 
Teutons hurled volley on volley, and rained tons of 
deadly grape-shot upon the advancing Easterners. Their 
danger, however, lay in another direction ; so much atten- 
tion was being devoted to the southern and eastern slopes 
that the west was left well-nigh unwatched. Perhaps 
two hundred men held this side, — ^f or not an enemy could 
be seen. A loud order, a howl of fiendish delight, and a 
swarm of black forms were leaping madly up the slope, 
firing wildly as they came. A German officer yelled for 
help, but the position was three hundred yards in width 
and the supporting soldiers had therefore some distance 
to run. The Goorkhas were within a hundred yards of 
the top and as the Germans rushed to the loop-holes and 
barricades, twenty bamboo ladders clacked against the 
wall and twenty dusky faces appeared above the 
parapet ; twelve fell dead amongst Uieir companions^ but 
the other eight ran huck-a-muck into the Teuton troops. 
Another twenty came up and five dropped, — ^three 
minutes later Dogras and Goorkhas were swarming over 
tiie wall in continuous streams and charged the 
defenders with wild yells. 

Swish ! Swish ! ! went the glistening kookris of the 
little native hill-men, and heads fell lolloping* here and 
fell lolloping there. 



274 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

The British rush not only breached the defence but 
also relieved the pressure upon the Japanese and a long 
drawn out " Banzai-ai-ai " announced the fact that the 
garrison was between two fires. Then ensued a fierce 
bayoneting and cruel handgrenading and, amidst the 
wierd cries of the victorious allies, the Germans were 
forced out of the position and compelled to retire on 
their supports. Yet even so the carnage did not cease ; 
undismayed by their terrible losses a regiment of Dogras 
formed up and led by a gallant yotmg officer chained 
down hill upon the German reserves^ bayonets fixed and 
rifles hipped With a crash the opposing forces met, — 
and the Teuton enemy gave before the awful onslaught 
and fell to running hot-haste here, there and everywhere, 
— ^anywhere, indeed, to escape their terrible antagonists. 

Wilhelm Hill was again in British hands and from its 
summit fluttered the flags of the Empires of the East and 
West! 

In that awful contest there fell seven thousand six 
hundred native troops, — some half of which were killed 
outright or died subsequently of their injuries ; twelve 
thousand Japanese, — seven thousand killed and the 
remainder wounded ; on the German side there were no 
less than twenty-three thousand casualities and at least 
fifteen thousand brave fighters never again saw their 
beloved fatherland. Hence, it will be seen that the few 
hours fighting about this insignificant though all import- 
ant position resulted in the death or wounding of nearly 
forty-three thousand combatants. Yet the gain was 
fully worth it from the military standpoint, since at least 
the Dockyard and Harbour were now safe. 

General Nogi at once took all necessary steps to 
render the recaptured position secure from future moles- 
tation or assault and then paraded his brave troops and 



THE FIGHT AROUND THE HILL 275 

those of India to thank them for the splendid way in 
which they had carried out their work. General Baden- 
Powell, upon whom the whole onus of the defence of 
Portsmouth had fallen and who had so nobly and capably 
resisted the attacks of a vastly more numerous foe, rode 
by the Japanese veteran's side and regarded the troops 
of the England of the Pacific with unfeigned admiration. 
And the Goorkhas and Dogras had also done magnifi- 
cently, — such work as their's placed them straightway 
beside the finest fighters in the world. Indeed, a very 
large percentage of the German casualties had taken 
place subsequent to the recapture of the hill — ^when the 
small hill-men so gallantly pmsued the fleeing garrison 
and fell, reckless of their own lives, upon the unsuspect- 
ing and disadvantageously placed Teuton reserves. 

After the review, the men were told they might take a 
rest, as their services for hard work would not be 
required for a few days. The next sign was to come 
from Kitchener and Kturoki on the other side of the 
enemy. 

Having dismissed his troops, Baron Nogi sent for 
Captain Iwamura and asked him to recount his fight on 
the hill, since General Baden-Powell wished to hear it 
from his own lips. Modestly and with striking simpli- 
city, Iwamura told the tale, — a trifle haltingly it is true, 
for his English was not perfect Nogi and the English 
General congratulated the plucky yoimg ofiicer, and the 
former asked if he had any other information to give ; 
Captain Iwamura felt in his pocket and produced the 
bundle of papers he had taken from the tmconscious 
Eberkraf t Nogi glanced at them and seeing they were 
in German, a tongue unknown to him, passed them to 
Baden-PowelL The General looked at them for a few 
minutes, — they appeared to be a series of private letters. 



\ 



2;6 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

and threw the first three down on the table after a 
hurried glance had proved them valueless. As he read 
die fourth, however, his eyes opened widely and he 
indulged in a low whistle of surprise. Nogi, all expec- 
tant* asked through his interpreter if it was an}rtfaix^ of 
importance. 

" Yes, it is. Tell the Baron that it informs us that a 
convoy of six transports with stores, cannon and ammuni- 
tion is on its way to Portland under escort of three small 
cruisers and two coast-defence ships. This is a private 
letter written about a week ago and merely mentions 
this matter casually ; we should let Sir John Angler know 
immediately. With the enemy's secret code in our 
possession we should manage to persuade them that 
Portsmouth has fallen and that Portsmouth, therefore^ 
is more suitable for a debarkation than Portland !" 

**l agree with the General, tell him," he said to his 
interpreter and r^^ht-hand man, " and think those cannon 
may come in very useful for us." 

Baron Nogi smiled delightedly at the good news and 
saw the force of the suggestion conveyed in the last 
sentence. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

Sweeping the Channel 

No sooner had the menace of the guns upon the con* 
tested height, now finaDy renamed Tragedy Hill, been 
removed, than the combined fleets were brought round 
from Sandown Bay into Portsmouth Harbour and the 
Dockyard staff set to work with great energy to repair 
the damage caused in the recent acticMi. It was 
discovered upon an examination of the prizes that the 
damage that they had sustained was more visible than 
real and that in the case of three of them, few repairs 
were needed to render them again fit for active service. 
But it had not been the intention of the authorities to 
touch the prizes until the last, so the Admiral-Superinten- 
dent of the Dockyard was taken considerably by surprise 
when he received instractions to dock immediately the 
two least damaged ex-German ships and, with as many 
bands as could be employed upon them without getting 
into each other's way, remove all traces of the recent 
action. 

So the " Preussen " and " Braunschweig " were tugged 
into dock, balanced and shored up. A swarm of work- 
men poured on board and presently the new electric 
derricks were removii^ all irreparably damaged spars, 
cowls and other fittii^. Of course it would have been 
impossible in the short space of thirty hours to repair 
any damaged part in the usual way, so recourse was had 
to " exchange " with the unharmed fittings of their more 
seriously shattered sisters " Hannover " and " Hessen," 
— ^the last having been floated oa the high tide and 



2/8 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

brought into Harbour. Thus the "Hannover" con- 
tributed a new main-top-mast, three guns of 6.7 in. 
calibre and a funnel, whilst the " Hessen " sent over half 
a dozen light guns, a davit or two and an uninjured 
1 1 ia gun to replace one broken in the fore-barbette of 
the '' Preussen." Cracked plates had to remain, though 
thin iron or steel sheets were patched over here and there 
and thickly coated with grey-paint 

When, on the morning of Friday, about midday, the 
twin battleships steamed slowly out to sea, the on-lookers 
lining Southsea Common commented upon the lack of 
damage they had sustained and the speed with which 
every trace of the fight had been dispelled. As soon as 
the land had been well cleared, the officers went below 
and donned the uniforms taken fixHn the captured 
officers, — the sailors likewise robing themselves in 
German kits. Then a German flag went up the lines from 
each ship, — and the transformation was complete. 

All is fair in love and war I 

In view of the dastardly method whereby the enemy 
had scored an initial advantage, any deception to outwit 
them was justifiable. They did not expect to meet the 
ships for which they had come out until Saturday after- 
noon ; the letter had been explicit in saying " they leave 
here on Wednesday and as they are convoyed by the 
slow old ' Baden ' and * Bayem,* cannot arrive at Port- 
land much before Sunday evening or Monday morning." 

Saturday dawned misty and chilly, but since Rear- 
Admiral Wilfrid expected to pick up the enemy by wire- 
less tel^;raphy long before sighting them, the inclemency 
of the weather caused him no worry. At 10.30 the 
Marconi operator received a call. He answered in the 
German code, a copy of which he had at his side. The 
following series of messages was then exchanged, — 

"Who are you?" 



SWEEPING THE CHANNEL 279 

*' His Imperial Majest/s battleships ' Preussen ' and 
' Braunschweig/ make your numbers." 

The enemy gave the required code numbers and then 
continued, 

" Have you come out to look for us ?" 

("Good gad! I should just think we had!" com- 
mented an excited officer,) 

"Yes; instructions for you from Admiral at 
Portsmouth." 

"Portsmouth? you mean Portland," queried the 
uncanny indicator, and Admiral Wilfrid chuckled as he 
realised how, whilst holding strictly to the truth, he was 
leading the Germans into the trap. 

" No, Portsmouth. German Fleet is now anchored in 
Portsmouth Harbour and battleships are at present 
being repaired in British docks at England's expense !*' 

" Has a battle taken place ?" 

" Yes, but we are not much damaged. We secured a 
great victory over the enemy and simk or captured all 
his battleships or armoured cruisers." 

Again Admiral Wilfrid laughed, — ^never had double 
reading of a message signalled meanings so vastly 
different, meanings so wholly contrary and opposite one 
to the other. The Germans had been quite disarmed 
from the first, not guessing that a copy of the code could 
possibly be in the possessions of their foe. 

"Thousand congratulations on glorious victory,*' 
ticked the Teuton operator and as was remarked after- 
wards it is uncommon for members of a vanquished 
nation to send such a message to their conquerors ! At 
midday the two battleships picked up the convoy and 
joined the escort, one on either side. There were the 
" Kdnigsberg " and " Danzig " new fast cruisers of 3,300 
tons, and the "Kaiserin Augusta" displacing 5,956 



38o THE WAR INEVITABLE 

tons^ — somewhat out of date but fast and weD anned. 
The coast-defence ships were more important, these 
being the " Baden " and " Bayem," of about 7400 tons 
displacement and mounting each six great guns <rf 
10.2 in. calibre and a numerous quick-firing battery. But 
at the moment they were as peaceful as the transports 
they convoyed, — ^half a dozen vast ships capable of 
carrying an immense cargo of war-stores. 

For that day and the following night this strai^ 
company steamed west together, the British in their 
German-built ships keeping a wary eye upon their 
companions lest by chance they should have any 
suspicion of the true state of affairs By eleven on 
Monday the small squadron was close to the Isle of 
Wight, proceeding very slowly owing to the fog which 
had prevailed for the last few days and seemed evea 
denser nearer the land. Admiral Wilfrid here pla}^ 
his trump card by sending the German conmiander a 
message directing him to make for Sandown Bay with 
his battleships and three cruisers, as it wotdd be 
impossible to find berths for them in Portsmouth owing 
to the congestion of the harbour ! The trani^orts were to 
steam into the Solent, where they would be picked vip by 
pilots. 

Early in the afternoon the five hostile vessels dropped 
anchor, all unsuspecting, in the middle of that fine, sandy 
opening flanked on the one side by the chaUc heights of 
Culver Down and on the other by heavily-wooded 
Shanklin and the adjoining cliffs. The fog hung as a 
damp, white blanket about them and to see more than a 
few yards in any direction was impossible. 

Captain Nierich sent off a launch in charge of a 
lieutenant, to land and ask for instructions and make a 
report; the launch never returned. At six o'clock 



SWEEPING THE CHANNEL 381 

Captain Nierich fancied he hesurd other anchors being 
dropped, — to seaward of him; he sent out a second 
launch to see who it could be and this launch, too, failed 
to come back. Nor could he get any reply to his wire- 
less signals, other than a confusion of unintelligible signs 
and letters. That night many of the Teuton officers felt 
too uneasy to enjoy an unbroken sleep and Captain 
Nierich's over-strained brain evolved a hundred fanciful 
explanations of the mysterious happenings. And over it 
all hui^ the dank fog, clingix^; and impenetrable. 

On Tuesday the fog had lightened, — ^the yellowness 
had gone out of its composition and a white glare from 
above told of a brilUant sun. As the group of German 
officers stood on the bridge of the "Baden" gazing 
fixedly into the blinding vapour, a cool air current fanned 
their cheeks. Another zephyr of air ; the fog started 
curvetting and twirlix^ in a fantastic dance and out of 
the thinning mist grew the indistinguishable forms of 
many more vessels. A third puff, developing into a 
steady wind, drove the last traces of the fog far out to 
sea and the astounded Germans grasped the iron rails 
and stared about them, open-mouthed, in bewildered 
stupefaction, — 

They were surrounded by huge British battleships I 

Landward were their two decoys, the " Preussen " and 
" Braxmschweig '* with the white ensign fluttering lan- 
guidly in the awakening breeze; in a wide circle, 
outside the ordinary toipedo rai^e, stretched four 
King Edwards," the giant " Dreadnought " and the two 

Lord Nelsons " ; and steaming to and fro out to sea 
were five mighty Japanese ships! 

Some flags fluttered up from the '' Dreadnought" 

"Do you surrender?" 

Captain Nierich looked around the encircling monsters 
with his binoculars and noted that eveiy gun that would 



u 



a82 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

bear was trained upon his little squadron. He thought 
of opening the Kingston valves and sinking his ships, 
when a further string of bunting ran aloft, 

*• Reply definitely in two minutes or we open fire ; any 
attempt to sink ships will mean annihilation.'* 

Captain Nierich realized that a single combined dis- 
charge from the guns then laid on his small force would 
blow them out of the water. 

^ Es ist kismet," he said, shrugging his shoulders. 

Giving the necessary orders for surrendering he went 
below to his cabia Thus five units were added to the 
British Navy with the loss of but one life. On boarding 
the "Baden" to take over the surrender, the British 
officer in charge descended to the captain's cabin and 
opened the door. 

Captain Nierich lay on the floor with half his head 
blown away, his right hand still gripping the butt of a 
revolver. 

When the six German transports arrived off the mine- 
field protecting the entrance to the Solent, the captain in 
command hooted thrice according to instructions. A 
launch shortly appeared at the gangway of each and up 
the steps ran — a British naval officer ! 

"With your permission, captain," said they to the 
respective skippers, looking behind to see that their men 
had mounted behind them, " I will now take command. 
Please attempt no resistance or the destroyers, of which 
you can just make out the forms of one on either side of 
you, will be compelled to sink your ship. And that 
would lose many valuable lives." 

High on the surrounding hills the German besiegers 
heard the ringing cheers of many a thousand throats, 
as the six transports steamed into the Harbour under 
British escort But the fog hid the meaning of the 
cheers and not for two days did the anxious General-in- 



f 



SWEEPING THE CHANNEL 285 

Command of the Portland Dep6t learn the fate of the 
sorely needed stores and re-inf orcements ; for when the 
fog lifted, the watchers saw the German transports lying 
snug in Portsmouth Harbour. But they did not see the 
battleships. The three protected cruisers were there, — 
they had been brought roimd from Sandown Bay. 

Presently a wireless message came to Portland, — ^what 
an untold blessing that captured code book was proving ! 
— ^that after a severe fight, in which three English ships 
had been sunk, the "Baden" and "Bayem" had 
managed to escape south and, whilst one was making 
direct back to Germany, the other would run into Port- 
land under cover of darkness and give a detailed report 
of what had taken place. 

Meantime curious things were going forward on board 
the " Baden " and " Bayem." The German crews of 
both were landed and put under a strong guard as were 
all those taken in the transports and the three cruisers. 
For the success of the next two moves in the game of 
revenge depended upon the capture of the two battle- 
ships being kept a profound secret. The " Baden " was 
quickly remanned, and a skilled staff of torpedoists put 
on board, — ^then she put out to sea and sailed, as evening 
came down, in the direction of Portland. The " Bayem '* 
remained behind and about her were collected a con- 
course of barges and hoys ; laimches steamed in never 
ending circles around these and f orebade any inquisitive 
pleasure craft ofif the shore from approaching. Lai^e 
iron globes were seen being lifted on board — they looked 
uncommonly like electric contact mines of the sort that 
had proved so fatal during the Russo-Japanese War! 
Then there were cases marked "Dynamite," — any 
quantity of them! This loading went on for two days 
and the " Bayem," getting up steam, also put out to sea 



284 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

and sailed, as evening came down, — eastwards, keepii^ 
well away from the coast To her mission a separate 
chapter must be devoted, for the present we will concern 
ourselves with the ** Baden," which, we have seen, was 
steaming towards Portland 

Dame England, emblem of the free, has ever been 
kind of the alien and has taken him to her motherly 
heart and nurtured him, viper that he is, in the warmtii 
of her bosom. Of all the aliens that received kindness 
at Dame England's hand, the aHen pilots proved the 
most imgratefuL Hence it is not wonderful to learn 
that the invaders employed for their pilotage in and out 
of Portland Harbour one Van Beeren, a stolid, blear-eyed 
Dutchman, with little knowledge of the EngUsh language 
and none at all of the German. So his employers had 
perforce to use the tongue of their enemy to make their 
desires known to him, — not that he cared over much for 
whom he worked so long as the pay was good 

In the German instructions, under the heading 
" Pilots," appeared this note : 

" Vessels desirous of entering Portland shall signify 
the same by exhibiting two red flares and hootii^ onoe 
during the display of the second (in thick or foggy 
weather three syren blasts, short, long and short, shall 
be given) when a pilot will come ofif and after inspection 
will take charge of the vessel or vessels, no more than 
four to follow tmder guidance of the same pilot during 
the passage." 

In the " Baden," Captain Mainwaring, who with his 
entire crew had volunteered for this particular cruise, 
studied this note and presently when his boatswain came 
down with the news that they were four miles out only, 
he gave directions similar to those contained in the 
captured code. 



SWEEPING THE CHANNEL 285 

In a few minutes the port side of the erstwhile German 
battleship was glowing resplendent in the ruddy beams 
of a bright flare ; when this fell and spluttered to a finish, 
a second commenced and with its increasing light there 
burst forth a loud hoot from the steam syren. An 
answering flame came from the land and twenty minutes 
later a small brown launch puffed importantly up to the 
towering vessel and a voice called out in rough German^ 

*' What ship are you ?" 

" The * Baden ' — escaped from those d — d Britons/* 
came the answer, and a certain English lieutenant, whose 
fluency in the Teuton tongue had been a bye-word in the 
Service, went up strongly in the estimation of his anxious 
listeners. 

"All right; pilot coming aboard. I suppose one of 
3fou can speak English ?" 

" Yes, — enough for him," was the ready answer. 

A clumsy figure seized the rope-ladder and swung 
hand over hand up the side, whilst the snorting launch 
steamed pace for pace back to the harbour. Van Beeren 
saw nothing wrong as he moimted the bridge and settled 
himself in the chart-room, — all the ofiicers were German, 
for that he could see by the tmiforms. Captain Main- 
waring had thoughtfully left a black jar of Schnapps, 
with a handy glass, on the chart table; Van Beeren 
looked at it, winked at the helmsman, took his bearings 
and then looked at the flask again. 

"Point to po-axt!" he directed in a stentorian voice 
and his left hand fell on the glass. The lieutenant wha 
spoke German came up and hoped his false moustache 
and beard would not fall off during the interview. In 
broken tongue he bid him good evening. Van Beeren's 
glance was on the Schnapps. 

" Two points starbud !" then " Gut for drink, heh ?" 



286 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

" Ja! Very gut, — ^try him," and the officer poured the 
pilot a stiff nobbier and be cleared it at a gulp. 

"Point to po-oart and straight vorwerdsT' his dirty 
sleeve wiped his smacking lips, — Schnapps was good. 

" Hart werk, nicht war ?" queried the ElnglishmaiL 

" Noa ; no mines thees channel, all sham for dam. 
Shermans loose zui mooches ship and clear away allem 
mines, forsure/' 

The Lieutenant noted the information for future use 
and gave a hurried glance about the ship, for they were 
now passing the lighthouse. He saw that the six heavy 
guns were swung outwards and kept thus, steady. 
Behind him he noticed two crouching figures and he 
suddenly made a movement with his hand. 

In a flash Van Beeren was down on the ground, 
gagged, botmd and taken below by a couple of powerful 
Jack Tars. The ** Baden" was now well inside the 
anchorage and was sailing gaily up the lines of ships^ 
chiefly merchantmen, flying the German flag. But it was 
the war-ships that engaged his attention and he and 
Captain Mainwaring looked them over with critical eye. 
Below in the engine-room British stokers were getting 
up a head of steam which, it was hoped, would give the 
old ship all her fifteen knots at a pinch. She had been 
designed for seventeen knots but laboured beneath thirty 
years of service ; yet her Diirr boilers and triple-expan- 
sion engines were new, having been installed com- 
paratively recently. There were four armoured ships 
and five small cruisers^ with a large nimiber of torpedo 
craft and gunboats. 

Amongst the battleships were the "Sachsen" and 
" WQrttemberg," sisters to the " Baden," and the smaller 
'* Odin '" and " Aegir " of 3550 tons. The cruisers were 
unimportant ; now the " Baden " had five torpedo tubes, 



SWEEPING THE CHANNEL 287 

one submerged on either side, two above water in the 
bows and one in the stern. In these, torpedoes lay 
ready for firing and men with a spare projectile were 
close at hand. Captain Mainwaring dipped the flag in 
ordinary sea-courtesy and made for the last mooring at 
the end of the harbour. Here he swung his ship around, 
backed and again went forward this manoeuvre bringing 
him facing the foe which were now stretched out between 
him and the way to safety. 

He called for twelve knots, — if more were made the 
certainty of hits would not be so great. In two minutes 
he had come level with the " Odin " and a torpedo leapt 
from the starboard submerged tube, ran a hundred yards 
only and exploded with a deafening roar. 

One foe gone! 

Mainwaring waited a moment, then gave another 
order, and this time two torpedoes sped away ; the stem 
one hit fair the protected cruiser " Prinzess Wilhelm " 
and with half her bows blown off, she sank into the mud 
The other torpedo missed a cruiser by a foot, and Main- 
waring cursed under his breath. 

By now the entire harbour was in a state bordering on 
panic and the rattle of steam-winches hauling at stubborn 
chains sounded amidst a confused babel of shouted 
orders, bugle calls and shrill hoots. Mainwaring swung 
a few points to port and fired a bow tube at the 
" Sachsen," — and with success, for a gerb of foam rose 
over the stricken vessel's stem and, with both propellors 
blown away, she commenced to settle down Here his 
guns came into play and three huge shells entered the 
close side of the sinking monster, completing the destmc- 
tion already so well begun. As the captain gave the 
instractions for firing the remaining bow torpedo at the 



388 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

** Aegir ** at a range of barely fifty yards» a message came 
op that the first three tubes were loaded again. 

"By this time the " Wurttembeig " had got under 
weigh and was steaming across the entrance to bar the 
Koad of escape to their hardy antagonist Mainwaring 
Doted this and turned four heavy guns on her straight 
receiving four in return. All his shells went home, 
was firing at a broadside target Three of the 
Germans' missed, — they were firing at a comparatively 
narrow bow, — ^and of those that missed the " Baden " two 
hit a small protected cruiser in the line of fire, the 
" Undine/' and drove her under water. But from the 
first the fight was uneven, everything favouring the one 
ship, which had come with f uU steam up against unpre- 
pared and anchored opponents. 

Under the impact of the four shells, the " Wurttem- 
bmg " gave a little and lost, moreover, the use of two 
heavy guns. Her one shot that found the " Baden*' 
did damage, of course, but of no great moment Four 
more shells smashed her in a minute's time and she 
turned slowly and left aq opening for which Mainwaring, 
who had telegraphed down for full speed, now steered. 
As he approached his shattered foe, a torpedo rushed on 
in advance, but before it had reached its mark, another 
one, fired from the side and under the water, was racing 
after it With an interval of a few seconds both struck 
and the German ship heeled over and began rapidly to 

fin 

At sixteen knots, — the British stokers made those 
boilers hum! — ^the "Baden" went through, dodged a 
Ettle so as to get the stem tube bearing on to the broken 
ship, and then fled away; the British Ensign waved 
gallantly from the masthead. 

The last torpedo exploded with devastating force and 



SWEEPING THE CHANNEL 289 

swung the split hull across the narrow entrance so that 
exit was impossible. Since the Germans had themselves 
blocked the only other opening it was obvious that 
pursuit by the remaining torpedo craft and three small 
cruisers was out of the questioa They all remained 
safely imprisoned and later were sunk to avoid falling 
into British hands. 

Some Socialist editor in Germany next day recalled a 
quotation from an EngUsh ofiicer*s letter to his father, a 
well-'known Baronet (in Chapter XVI. this letter appears 
in full) and gained some notoriety and many enemies by 
its pubUcation: — 

" I pity the Germans if we get the upper hand again ; 
** we intend to sink or capture everything afloat bearing 

^ the German flag, even down to yachts '^ 

And in this work the British Navy delighted One 
by one the remaining German ships added to the tale of 
disaster. To-day a cruiser, yesterday three gun-boats, — 
every day something. Junior ofiicers were in their 
element and, now that the menace of the battleships had 
been permanently removed, the " clearing up " work was 
left almost entirely to them in their destroyers and 
torpedo-boats for, as the senior Admirals remcirked, it 
gives them initiative and offers them an occasional 
chance for distinguishing themselves. One youthful 
lieutenant gained a great name by floating into Poole 
Harbour in a launch roped tightly under the lee of a 
fishing smadc A single torpedo hui^ in releasing gear 
from the disengaged side and with this it was his inten- 
tion to sink the small coast defence vessel " Heimdal " ; 
the " Heimdal " lay well up harbour, but as, during the 
whole siege, the Germans had been accustomed to see 
the fishing fleets go in and out much as they pleased, 
(for the people in the captured towns had of necessity 

8 



igo THE WAR INEVITABLE 

to live) it was no novelty for them to lumber in on the 
heavy tide that particular afternoon. 

There were fifteen smacks, and the launch-tied one 
brought up the rear. Some went to the one side some 
went to the other of the guard-ship, — ^f or in that capacity 
was she stationed there. Just as the last of the fishing 
craft drew level, the launch dropped behind and, steering 
for the ironclad, fired the torpedo at a range not 
exceeding eighty yards. Then the audacious officer and 
his few plucky volunteers put about and steamed as hard 
as they could for the open sea ; so unprepared were the 
Germans for this attack that their antagonists made their 
escape unmolested. The torpedo ran true, dived just 
before striking and expended the full force of its awful 
explosion upon the thin hull sixteen feet below the water- 
line. A vast sheet of flame sprang upwards followed 
by smoke and mud, and the ^ Heimdal " sank imme- 
diately upon the muddy ooze, resting thus on an even 
keel, her upper deck flush with the level of the water. 
Three quarters of her crew were rescued by the fishing 
smacks, the remainder being drowned or blown to pieces. 
A host of British cruisers, protected and armoured, 
patroled the coast line of England and Germany, and not 
only prevented the sending of stores to the hard pressed 
invaders, but completely disorganised the over-seas trade 
of the German Empire. Destroyers made many raids 
into this Harbour or that Bay and cut out steamers of all 
and every description. As days passed, the captures 
mounted to many hundreds and at last few vessels larger 
than row-boats could be found anywhere on the German 
coast And every Teuton family had read that fatal 
sentence: "We intend to sink or capture everything 
afloat • . . • 



I 

I 



CHAPTER XXX. 

The Episode of the Kiel Canal 



To Captain Mahon, late of H.M. Scout "Forward" 
belongs the credit of initiating what has come to be 
known as the "episode of the Kiel Canal" Captain 
Mahon, having put forward the propositicm, was 
obviously the right man to see it carried into execution 
and so with a carefully selected crew of one huncked 
and eighty volxmteers, of whom seven were ofl&cers, he 
had steamed off up Channel in command of the ancient 
" Bayem." Amongst his subordinates he had an old 
friend, to wit. Lieutenant FitzHerbert, — ^fitter than ever 
and possessing if possible even more of his proverbial 
high spiritSw Though still a youth, his deeds in the 
destroyers and lastly in connection with the sinking of 
the " Pavel I." had shown him to be a youx^ man of 
sound judgment, tmusual courage and great dash. 
Hence Captain Mahon welcomed him as a member of 
his small force for this forlorn hope, — it could be called 
nothing else. 

The initial idea had been brought about through a 
certain article (in a well-known technical journal), entitled 
" The Widening of the Kiel Canal" Herein it was set 
forth how, the Kaiser having insisted upon his warships 
being increased in displacement to place them on a level 
footing with the "Dreadnought" and her similars 
building in other countries, it became necessary to deepen 
and widen the Canal to allow of the easy passage from 
Kiel to the North Sea of ships displacing 18,000 tons or 
over. This work had been entered upon with great 



aga THE WAR INEVITABLE 

despatdi and z6al and it was anticipated that by the 
time the first five huge battleships were ready (in the 
German Navy all ships of the line are built in batches of 
five) the canal would have been advanced nearly to com- 
pletion. This widening had made steep banks in certain 
places and particularly was this the case near Griinenthal, 
where a huge, arched railway bri(%e spanned the cutting. 
Now the Kiel Canal is worshipped by the German 
people as a national '* darling /' and it was anticipated 
(and rightly) that to dama^ it badly would be a good 
means of bringing the arrogant foe to his knees. Sudi 
a work Captain Mahon now undertook and how he 
carried out his plans is a story as remarkable as it is 
exciting. 

The "Bayem" it will be remembered, had been 
reported as having escaped the British Fleet, and tibe 
authorities at the Cuxhaven end of the Canal awaited 
with anxiety the arrival of their ship. Captain Mahon 
had, however, a most difficult task to perform, for not 
only would it be necessary safely to get into the Canal, 
he had also to contrive to get out again at the Kiel exit 
When at last land was sighted, numerous wireless 
messages came to him asking for news. But to these 
demands he remained silent and contented himself with 
signalling that he had important news which he must 
take in person to the Admiral commanding at Kiel It 
. was an audacious move, but in view of the momentous 
happenings of the last few days, including as they did 
the practical annihilation of the German Fleet, it did not 
surprise the authorities at the Elbschleuse, or North Sea 
Locks. Mahon had cunningly contrived to arrive at 
even-tide and as the " Bayem " crept slowly up to the 
wharf, the few onlookers saw nothing suspicious about 
the British Jack-Tars arrayed as they were in the fiiB 



EPISODE OF THE KIEL CANAL 293 

unifonn of the captured Gennan sailors. A Teuton 
officer came on board and prior to mounting the steps, 
gave directions to a junior, on the quay to rig up as 
speedily as possible the bow-search-lamp to facilitate 
steering through the canal at night He reached the 
deck and made for the bridge, — 

Four men closed about him and muffled his half- 
uttered cry for help ; he was gagged, bound and carried 
below to a secluded cabin. Meanwhile the engines were 
slowly revolving and the " Bayem " made at snail's-pace 
for the open lock-gates. Those on the quay suspected 
nothing. Their officer had gone on board and doubtless 
would remain there until the ship reached Kiel. In the 
lock a pilot came on board ; Captain Mahon had akeady 
decided to do all the necessary pilotage himself ; so the 
pilot also of a sudden lost his footing and felt a homy 
hand clapped over his mouth. He, too, was deposited 
below, bound, gagged, and vastly astonished to find 
himself in the company of the lock-officer similarly 
trussed 

The inner gates were by now slowly opening and the 
*' Bayem," prestmiably conned by an authorised pilot, 
drew steadily out into the narrow water-way. Ten 
minutes later she was speeding at nine knots down the 
centre of the canal. Now the prescribed speed is 5.3 
knots per hour only, and this would take a ship through , 
the whole ninety-eight and half kilometres in thirteen 
hours. But the " Bayern " had certain halts to make 
and therefore speed to the utmost in safety was called 
for, — ^and a huge white back-wash seared the smooth 
banks behind the rushing monster. At number thirty 
kilo-metre the ship slowed down and eventually was 
carefully brought up alongside the high banl^ just' 
beneath the towering pillar of Grunenthal Railway 



294 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

Bridge. Here the side had been cut back so much that» 
to his delight, Cs^tain Mahon found he could moor his 
ship quite up to the bank. In three minutes she lay 
motionless, — ^in six, half a dozen wide gang-ways were 
laid to the ^ore and five-score men tore backwards and 
forwards between the ship and the excavation dug deeply 
beneath the bridge-f oimdation, canying heavy boxes of 
dynamite. For a full hour they worked and at last their 
labour was o'er. Then a young electrician went carefully 
to the great pile of explosives and with infinite caution 
fixed a detonator and a clock-work regulator, timed to 
fire the charge in twelve hours from the time of setting. 
Again the "Bayem" rushed away and the course 
being here straight as a line, Mahon ventured to increase 
his speed to twelve knots. He held on so until the 
seventy-fourth kilometre, where the canal sides again 
rose steeply aloft on either side. Here he slowed down 
and a series of splashes at intervals of a few seconds 
indicated that a quantity of mechanical mines were being 
skilfully dropped overboard into mid-channel These 
mines, several hundred of them in all, were so arranged 
that the explosion of one would mean the explosion of 
all, — and the immense upheaval of such countless tons 
of gun-cotton would tear the bottom of the smooth canal 
to rags and shake down whole avalanches from the 
towering banks on each flank. They were all of them 
of the same kind^ — huge globular iron-tanks, containing 
a vast charge capable of blowing the bottom out of the 
stoutest vessel afloat; and so connected up that to tilt 
them ever so slightly would cause a mercury-bath to over- 
flow and join the two poles of a small electric current^ 
this in turn sparking and igniting a violent fulminate, 
the shock of which would detonate the main explosive 



EPISODE OF THE KIEL CANAL 295 

mass. To render them harmless whilst being laid, a 
large block of sugar filled the hollowed well intended for 
the mercury, thus preventing the latter from spreading 
over the danger spot and forming a circuit After the 
mine had been in the water for about two hours, this 
sugar, connected with the exterior by a little pipe, would 
melt away imder the influence of the sea-water and 
allow the liquid mercury to flow unrestrictedly, — and 
then, woe betide the man or boat that touched the mine 
sufficiently to tip it over even a few degrees ! 

Four such strings of mines were planted, each string 
connected with the other by a thin water-tight electric 
cable. They lay separated by a clear six hundred yards 
and themselves extended over nearly another kilometre, 
so that by the time the last of the mines was in the 
water the " Bayem " had reached kilometre 80. Here a 
short halt was made to safely anchor the last mine of the 
long, deadly line and it was during this halt that Fitz- 
Herbert came to Mahon with a most curious message. 

" The wireless is working a messeige from Kiel, sir, 
and from what we can make out, a large warship is 
coming through the canal and they want us to tie up at 
the next cutting about three miles further on and let 
her pass. What reply shall we send ?" 

For a few minutes Captain Mahon thought deeply, — 
then with a decisive gesture he said, 
* " We'll do it, by Heaven ! we'll do it And if it is the 
ship I suspect, it will make our friends the enemy madder 
than ever. Tell them 'all right' FitzHerbert and 
enquire the name of the ship they're sending through." 

" Very good, sir." 

On his return a few minutes later, he had a most 
momentous piece of information. 

"Ifs the new battleship 'Nassau' of the 17,710 ton \ 



age THE WAR INEVITABLE 

class, sir, she's going through to oommission at Wilhdms- 
havea They say, too, the tide's at ' half ' and we can 
steam straight through into Kiel Harbour, the locks at 
Holtenau being open." 

" Glorious, glorious," exclaimed the Captain, excitedly, 
* we're going to win, FitzHerbert, — ^we're going to pull it 
ofip, you mark my words ! But we must get the * Nassau ' 
to tie up instead of ourselves. Let me think how to 
work it" 

Kiel Canal, similar in this respect to the Suez, has the 
banks at certain sections cut out to so great a width that 
ships are able to pass one another without danger. 
These cuttings are known as "Ausweiche/' and die 
*• Ausweiche " indicated in the message was at kilometre 
84, — ^just four kilometres nearer Kiel than the last of the 
contact mines laid by the " Bayem." The warping of a 
ship into one of these " Ausweiche " is a long, tedioiH 
business and getting her away again also takes time, — 
perhaps forty minutes. Captain Mahon was faced with 
a difficult problem, for when the two ships lay side by 
side, the ' Nassau ' would have a bare four kilometres to 
travel before being blown up, — (and this certain catas- 
trophe would at once throw suspicion on the '' Bayem," 
which would no doubt find the Kiel lock-gates closing 
her only means of escape,) — ^whilst the "Bayem" had 
still about twenty kilometres to run through. Now 
twenty kilometres is nearly eleven nautical miles, which 
would take the " Bayem " at the very least one hour to 
steam from the " Ausweiche " to Kiel 

If Mahon were to warp up in the " Ausweiche," the 
" Nassau " would have met her fate long before he could 
again be under weigh, so he hit upon a stratagem 
whereby he hoped to overcome the difficulty. He 
remained anchored at kilometre 80 and stolidly awaited 



EPISODE OF THE KIEL CANAL 297 

a message from the approaching German ship. Presently 
it came^ 

** Why are yon not moored into the *' Ausweiche," — 
we are just making up to it from kilometre 85 ?** 

Back went Mahon's answer, 

" Unfortunately ran ashore at kilometre 80, — am now 
off ; can you moor up and let us pass as we are on urgent 
business." 

" Very annoying but will do so/' ticked the reply and 
Captain Mahon went on deck much elated and signalled 
for seven knots,- — more he dared not employ whilst 
passing the " Nassau." Presently the tall masts oT the 
newest German warship hove in sight against the glim- 
mering dawn and a few minutes later the Teuton-dressed 
British sailors were crowding the sides of the " Bayem " 
and gazing admiringly at the huge craft they were 
passing. She had three immense funnels and an arma- 
ment of twelve 1 1 inch guns paired in vast steel turrets. 
Little did any on, board suspect that within the hour they 
and their fine vessel would be hurled into the air ! 

As soon as the magnificent Levensau bridge had been 
left astern, Mahon increased his speed to twelve knots 
and rushed his ship through the still, narrow lane of 
water in a manner that made early-risen rustics aloi^ 
the green banks hold their breath in amazement 
Luckily the day was quickly lightening and already the 
darkness of the preceding night had greyed before the 
rising sun. Captain Mahon called for a cup of hot cocoa, 
a few biscuits and a cigar, — ^and he soliloquised thus : 

" The ' Nassau ' will take the usual time to unmoor and 
get under weigh, about forty minutes; she has four 
kilometres to steam at, probably, six knots, about twenty 
minutes,— total, one hour. We have eleven knots to 
steam and are moving at just over twelve, but murt 



a98 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

allow more than a knot for bends. It is now 5.30 and 
we have been going since 5.15 ; at 6.15 we shall hear a 
noise and ^oald, with luck^ simultanously be passin|^ 
Holtenau. Can we do it ?" 

^ Just about, sir, I should think," said a cheery voice, 
coming up on deck. 

** Cheeky young devil, FitzHerbert, to join in without 
beix^ invited. But was I talking aloud? Well! well, 
we've cooked our cake and must eat it now, good or bad. 
Are those torpedo tubes filled?" 

** Yessir, — ^we may want 'em as we pass down Kiel 
Harbour." 

" Egad ! I should think we may. And you might see 
to it that all the guns have a charge in them." 

" Very good, sir." 

For thirty minutes they held on thus and at last the 
banks became more alive ; folks came out to see the 
long awaited ship (the German flag was all there, of 
course !) and in spite of the early hour, Captain Mahon 
and his small crew received quite an ovation from the 
ever increasing crowds. He slowed to nine knots, 
curing the necessity whilst doing so, — ^and kept a wary 
eye ahead and an expectant ear astern. At Knoop, 
still three kilometres from the Kiel locks, a dull roar rose 
out of the stiUness behind him and looking back he saw 
a vast umbrella-shaped doud of smoke shooting giddily 
into the air twelve miles astern. He gasped with appre- 
hension and rang down for the utmost speed, — ^for all 
disguises would be useless now and he feaxed, — the 
WAVE ! I 

At sixteen and a half knots he rushed along, raising a 
ten foot wash over the containing banks as the steel 
hull roughly displaced the enclosed water. Two minutes 
past; — four, — ^and the sluices of Holtenau lay before him, 
the gates open. 



EPISODE OF THE KIEL CANAL 299 

Three hundred yards more and then for a time they 
would be safe, — Kiel Harbour would alone lie between 
him and absolute security. Suddenly FitzHerbert who 
stood beside him on the bridge, seized his arm in a fearful 
grip and pointed ahead, 

" My God ! they're shutting the further gates ! ! They 

must have discovered 1 know ^keep on, 

sir ^bow tube *' 

Shouting these disconnected sentences spasmodically, 
the young officer tumbled headlong below and in a few 
seconds was in the forward torpedo flat A torpedo 
chanced to be in the tube and, brushing an intervening 
sailor on one side, he pulled the lanyard. A confused 
roar followed almost directly; something crashed in 
front and he was shot with great force across the steel 
deck and fell senseless against the door. 

On deck, Captain Mahon clung tightly to the steel 
rail of the bridge and told the helmsman to " carry on " 
and not turn an inch. If nothing else would do he must 
ram the gates! 

The Holtenau lock is capable of taking two battleships 
at once, — ^the " Bayern " was a short, handy vessel and 
ran neatly between the first open gates, steered with 
unerring precision. A crowd of uniformed ofiBicials 
shouted at him, but Mahon paid them no heed, — only 
looked ahead and awaited the coming impact 

A sullen roar made him turn round, — ^not half a mile 
away a high wall of foaming water came rolling at 
immense speed down the narrow bed of the canaL 
The Germans saw it, — shrieked with fright and fled 
incontinently. 

The " Bayern " was surely doomed ! 

The closed lock-gates were fifty yards away only, 
now- 



300 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

A vast Qpheaval almost beneath the " Bayem's " ram, 
came from the shut doors and by some mysteHous 
means they seemed to spKt aswider. 

The *' Bayera " finished what the bow-torpedo had so 
well begun and slogged, soughing and squelching, into 
the deeper waters of Kiel Harbour. Behind her roared 
the huge avalanche of water and this» pent for a moment 
in the close walled neck of the lock, shot out like some 
demon host and chased hot-haste the fleeing ^ Bayem.*' 
Behind the " Bayem *' came three German torpedo-boats^ 
— ^they alone had had steam up when her complicity in 
the destruction of the '* Nassau " became known. 

They chased her hard and dodged successfully the 
many hurried shots fired from the light quick-firing arma- 
ment of their quarry. 

But the wave was chasing THEM ! 

Until that moment it had come as some giant wall, 
foaming, frothing and fearsome, — ^but not breaking 
wildly as the waves upon a beach. Now, however, it 
spread out and rose curling above the little torpedo craft 
Their endeavour was not now to sink the escaping 
*** Bayem," but rather to escape themselves from this 
new, unexpected and awful danger. Faster it raced and 
faster, — ^they steamed eighteen knots; it came at 
twenty-five ! 

The " Bayem '* took it all in by the stem, — ^it rose in 
creaming volumes above her solitary funnel ; but she 
bore through safely, drenched, smothered, streaming, 
and rode behind on the back-drag, — unharmed if wet 
The torpedo boats took it all in, also astern ; the crest 
curled round them, foaming and singing. Their little 
hulls rose slant-wise inside the darkening, hollowed curve 
and tried to ride to the level of the roaring walls. Then 
it broke, 



EPISODE OF THE KIEL CANAL 301 

They were driven down, clean ! No jobbery in that 
wave's work, — driven down clean ! ! 

Eighty-two small craft sank that day in Kiel Harbour, 
indudii^ eight new submarines that lay with crews on 
board and hatches open. Tugs^ yachts, torpedo boats, 
—all had a similar fate. 

A few hours later the " Bayem " steamed into Nakskov 
Harbour in the Danish island of Laaland and, after 
taking on board sufl&dent coal to carry her to the nearest 
British port (for so much the law of nations permits) 
set out north by the Great Belt passage and in due 
eouise reached the shelter of St Margaret's Hope in the 
Firth of Forth. 

Little remains to be told of this extraordinary incident 
except* perhaps, some few words of the damage wrought 
by the explosions. This damage exceeded the wildest 
estimates of the audacious perpetrators. The " Nassau '* 
hit the first mine at the precise moment that the charge 
at Griinenthal Railway Bridge exploded, — detonated 
prematurely by the passage of a heavy train. The great 
ship would seem not to have set ofif the first immediately, 
but rolled this one along her steel flanks until the second 
was reached. This second closed upon the other side 
and the two exploded simultaneously, ripping up the 
bottom clean out of the ship. Then came the vast 
combined explosion of the many htmdred other mines 
in addition to that from the dynamite placed xmder the 
bridge. The effect was to fill at one fell blow the whole 
bed of the canal, the undermined sides falling in in huge 
avalanches. These descending masses of earth dis- 
placed in the space of a few seconds many million tons 
of water and raised the huge wave that caused so much 
damage to the shipping in Kiel Harbour and very nearly 
sank the " Bayem " and her plucky crew. Moreover, 



303 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

it turned over the hull of the shattered ^ Nassau" and 
left it in two pieces across the devastated canal bed and, 
on the other side broke down the Elbschleuse locks and 
did incalculable harm to the small craft collected o£F 
Brunsbiittel at the mouth of the Elbe. 

GrQnenthal Bridge was blown to smithereens and two 
trains, coming in opposite directions, rushed madfy with 
their living freights to an awful doom. 

The news of this ghastly happening had more effect 
than anything else in bringing to the German people 
some knowledge of the result of the mad action c^ their 
Chancellor, — ^the sinking of the British Fleet, and it was 
perfectly evident to close observers that in Germany, 
at least, the desirability of a speedy peace was becomix^ 
increasingly noticeable. 

But the British nation had not done with them yet 



m 



CHAPTER XXXL 

Conclusion. 

Captain Allen Nelson sat in a comfortable deck-chair 
overlooking the sea, a slight brown just beginning to 
show on his wan cheeks ; yet since the terrible event 
diat had knocked him over and caused the loss to the 
Germans of a first class battleship with most of her crew, 
a period of three months had nearly elapsed Before 
him, on an invalid's table, lay a sheet of foreign foolscap 
and he bit the end of his pen before beginning to writse. 
He glanced for a moment out across the Solent and list- 
lessly followed the evolutions of six large torpedo-boats, 
German built by their cut, but flying the white ensign. 
Strung up-channel from the Spit-Fort (chequered like a 
gaming board and showing black muzzles on all sides) 
were anchored a line of warships— old friends many of 
them, such as the " Dreadnought " and " Agamemnon," 
— ^butnear them five of the prizes, altered and re-painted 
and proudly showing the flag of the sea empire. A year 
ago, he reflected, things had been as quiet as this and 
yet, how different! He looked towards his left arm — 
or more properly, where the arm should have beei^ and 
the empty sleeve made him wince ; he had not become 
quite reconciled to it yet From this unpleasant reminis- 
cence he turned his gaze on the table by his side and 
smiled as his eyes lighted on a bundle of letters addressed 
to him, — ^the address seemed so unf amifiar — 

Captain Allan Nelson, RN., V.C, CB., D.S.O. 
" Very vulgar," he murmured to himself, and then with a 
sigh of contentment, " but it makes up for things a bit !" 



304 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

A footstq) caused him to tarn his head; a lady; 
kaning on the ami of a stalwart German, was 
approaching him. 

* How are you feelii^ to-day. Captain/' asked the 
newcomer, holding out his hand. 

* Much better, thanks. Every day seems to put new 
life into me. Your fellows hit me five times, you know, 
aad that's quite a lot for one poor constitution to stand, 
eh?" 

'^ True, but I rather fancy the last trick lay with yoo, 
iriiat do you say, Xandra?^ 

''Oh! Oscar, please don't recall those awful times. 
The very sight of those horrid torpedo boats out there 
sends a shiver down my back. Besides^ youVe not told 
Captain Nelson the news yet" 

" I left that to you, dear." 

* Good news, I hope ?" questioned Nelson. 
"Yes,— of the best The Crown Prince has been 

found in a small cottage near the coast ; of all the crew 
of the ' Elsass ' he alone was able to reach the shore and 
he was found unconscious by the good folks who have 
nursed him ever since. He had a sharp attack of brain 
fever and on r^^aining consciousness could remember 
nothing that had passed Then one day, whilst reading 
an <dd newspaper, he came across an account of the 
'Dreadnought's' cruise and on catching sight of the 
word ' Elsass ' all came back to him : name, position 
and, indeed, the whole course of events since the com- 
mencement of this dreadful war." 

**l 3m so glad to hear of it, — how delighted you must 
be. And His Majesty, — ^how does he take it ?" 

" My father looks ten years younger," replied Prince 
Oscar, " and now that my broths has been found alive 
and well, he r^^ts nothing of the past and seems as 



CONCLUSION 305 

cheerful as he was this time last year." Then, as a huge 
liner moved slowly out of the harbour, " There go some 
more of our men back to their fatherland and all those 
they hold dear," exclaimed the Prince. " Your organisa- 
tion. Captain, is opening the eyes of even our Staff, and 
they are supposed to know something about it V* 

"Things have bucked up a bit lately, undoubtedly, but 
there is still much to be done they tell me. When are 
you ofiF, Prince?" 

" To-morrow from London, and we leave here to-day. 
Captain Nelson, so we came over to have a last chat 
with my brave comrade of the sick-room. Xandra did 
well when she had your cot placed in my room, for your 
companionship has done much to lighten my convales- 
cence. Then too, if you will permit me to say so, you 
have become very much to me, a something more than a 
friend, — ^perhaps its silly of me, but I have a deep regard 
and affection for you — Nelson — and well, Xandra, you 
must do the rest" 

" It's this. Captain Nelson, Oscar wants you to come 
over and stay with us the moment you are fit to travel 
Believe me, you will have a great welcome in Germany 
where your name is a household word, and now that all 
animosity is past they will receive you as any brave man 
deserves. Do say yes ?" ended the Princess, pleadingly. 

Nelson was greatly touched by her words, obviously 
sincere and springing from the depth of a loving heart 
He took a hand of each and held them a space, tears 
welling up in his drawn eyes. 

** It's awfully weak of me. Prince, I know, but your 
little wife has been such an angel, so sweet so tender, 
that in parting from you I feel my two dearest friends 
are going away. If I can come to Germany I will with 
unspeakable pleasure and once again we will renew the 

T 



\ 



3o6 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

old assodadon which will never fade from my memory. 
Goodbye, Prince, goodbye, little Princess, and God guard 
you both through the peace of a long and happy life. In 
two or three months, perhaps, we shall meet again. 
Goodbye/* 

In a moment they were gone, their hands tingHng with 
the last grip of the impetuous young sailor who had so 
much endeared himself to them. 

Nelson watched them enter the French-window, arm 
linked in arm, and sighed as he turned once more to his 
writing, — not yet begun. A silver-haired old lady came 
from the room where the Prince and his wife had dis- 
appealed and drew a chair up close to her son's side 

" I have just said adieu to the two young folk, Allan — 
sweet children both of them and with true hearts. 
Princess Alexandra has been more than kind." 

*' I shall miss them awfully, mother." 

" I am sure of it, dear boy. But to whom were you 
going to write?" 

" Edgar has not had a letter from me for some months 
and cannot, for a variety of causes, have heard the news 
of the last stages of the war, so I was preparing to write 
a few sheets and give him an outline of the events." 

" Do, my son, — ^f or though I have written several times 
myself, my letters have been so fragmentary that I doubt 
not he will be delighted to get a long description from 
his brother. You have two hours till tea-time ; it shall 
be brought out here so that you -need not move." 

Left to himself Nelson set to work on his letter and 
(as this story has already reached dimensions far beyond 
the expectations of the chronicler) we might well glance 
over his shoulder as he writes and follow in his woids 
the last phases of this disastrous war. 



CONCLUSION 307 

"My dear old Edgar, 

" Three months have slipped by since I last 
wrote you, and never do I wish such another three 
months in my life. You will have heard of our Httle 
expedition in the B6 and the luck that attended us, — the 
mater is sure to have given you a pretty full account of 
it all. If it had not been for young FitzHerbert and that 
brick Robson, I should not be writing you now ; just in 
time they nipped out on deck and seized me, hauling me 
into the interior of our little boat The honours seem to 
be on our side over the matter, thot^h I've been in dry 
dock now for eleven weeks, have lost three stone and my 
left arm, whilst Httle Fitz dropped half an ear and got 
a pellet through the tricep of his right arm, though it has 
left no permanent damage. Poor Robson seems to have 
been hit in the spine and his left side became per- 
manently paralysed from the waist upwards ; but the 
Admiralty have granted him a pension of ;^200 a year 
for life and a hfe pension of ;^ 100 to his wife should she 
survive and £50 to each of his three children after 
attaining the age of eighteen. Besides this, at the 
pater's special request he has been allowed to enter our 
service and has been made gate-keeper at the south 
lodge, cottage and thirty bob a week thrown in ; all the 
country yokels collect round to see him and the mater 
tells me he has quite an ovation every time he goes into 
the village. FitzHerbert is now Commander, — and not 
yet twenty ! They gave him one of the captured third 
class cruisers and he at once applied to be placed on 
commerce destruction work ; before the war ended he 
had done so well that I hear his share ot prize money 
will total nearly fifty thoa He's not improved a bit since 
you saw him before leaving with the small expeditionary 
force and is even more cheeky than formerly. Got 



3o8 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

engaged, too, to the youngest daughter of Lord Hatman- 
town, the African mine-fellow, so altogether he's done 
himself rather well As for me the bosses have been 
very kind, sending me up over the heads of dozens of 
others and loading me with beastly orders and things ; 
my relations are so bucked up over it all that they can't 
send a letter without tagging all my distinctions (?) on 
after my name and I see the * orderly ' snigger every time 
there's something for me. I am sticking to the service 
in spite of advice from doctors and friends, — sea-air and 
xesponsibility are the only things that can set me up 
again. So much for persons and personalities, — ^now 
about the end of the war. 

" You will remember that you left Bristol just before 
we smashed up the Dutchmen and either sank or cap- 
tured all their remaining ships. During the following 
month, as we now know, the Jap. Generals were working 
out schemes with our own men for the final crushing of 
the invadii^ force and then when all was ready 
Kitchener left to take supreme command. Meantime 
supplies were beginning to fail in the German Army, not 
a. single reinforcement or store-ship having been able to 
help them, so the longer the last engagement was post- 
poned the better it was for us. Then it came ; by Jove, 
it was a Titanic battle, a total of nearly three million 
being engaged on the two sides and for three days a 
perfect Hell of slaughter went on until at last the 
Germans were sufficiently reduced for the men in 
Portsmouth to make a simultaneous move. The 
garrison had been reinforced from the sea up to a quarter 
of a million men and of these, two hundred thousand 
were pushed forward just when the advance commenced 
of the encircling ring. In five places their lines were 
successfully pierced and no sooner were the breaches 



CONCLUSION 309 

made secure, than an overwhelming force was concen- 
trated upon the southern-most isolated division, thus 
facing them with but two alternatives — ^absolute 
annihilation or surrender ! They chose the latter after 
losing thirty-three thousand killed and wounded and at 
once the victorious allies swept north and treated the 
next isolated hostile force to a similar movement And 
so it went on xmtil at last we found ourselves victors all 
along the line, with a loss, huge it is true, of ninety-one 
thousand killed and nearly two himdred thousand 
wounded The enemy had one hundred and seventy 
five thousand killed and over four hundred and fifty 
thousand wounded, casualties of nearly fifty per cent of 
their forces. We captured, amongst others, the Kaiser 
for the second time, Prince Henry of Prussia and six 
minor Royalties, whilst they took weeks counting the 
Generals! Fourteen hundred guns are amongst the 
spoils, indeed in the history of warfare no such victory 
has ever before taken place. Even Oyama's efforts in 
Manchuria pale before the magnitude of this action. Of 
course this practically finished the war, especially when, 
following upon the news reaching Germany the whole of 
that country broke out into open revolt Our King, God 
bless him, at once ordered a quarter of a million of the 
prisoners to be immediately despatched home under 
General Moltke to crush the spirit of rebellion and the 
latest news tells us that things are so much better that 
the Kaiser and his relations may safely return to their 
own land. What a miserable ending for him! He 
hoped to become the world-power and to out-Napoleon 
Napoleon and now, — ^no army, no fleet, a coxmtry in open 
revolution, all prestige gone for many decades, commerce 
destroyed and lastly everything that floats either sunk or 
captured. He seems to take it very well and was most 



< 



3 lo THE WAR INEVITABLE 

kind when he came down here and was brought up to 
me ; he congratulated me on my exploit and said how 
glad he was that there was only one of me, — ^my sort 
were too dangerous to be allowed out, he told me 
jckxogly ! His son and his wife Princess Alexandra have 
been awfully nice to me; you will remember how 
indefatigable the Princess was as a nurse. By the bye, 
I have a piece of news of a strictly confidential nature ; 
when I am quite fit I am to go over and stay with them» 
— which will not be for two months at least I suppose, — 
and if expectations are realised I have promised to be a 
god-father and the Kaiser has consented that his grand- 
child (and of course they pray that it will be a boy) shall 
be the first Prince Allan in the House of Hohenzollem. 
Rather amusii^ isn't it, but 'mums' the word, mind. 
Another piece of news ; the Crown Prince swam ashore 
and was nursed through a bad attack of brain-fever by a 
couple who, owing to his losing his memory and remem- 
bered nothing of the past and also disUking the idea of 
handing him over as a prisoner to the authorities^ said 
nothing about their find until one day, reading an account 
oi the engagement from which he had so luckily escaped, 
recollection returned to the Prince and he delivered him- 
self up <Hily to discover that peace had been declared. 
The terms of peace have just been published and I must 
say they are most kind An indnnnity of only one 
hundred millions is asked, the King considerii^ a 
demand for a greater sum too crushing for a nation 
already tremendously impoverished. Besides this we are 
receiving a pound sterling for every prisoner. As ta 
foreign possessions, — ^they give us German East Africa 
and all other African possessions, — so your work has not 
been in vain ; but in exchange we give them British New 
Guinea since, having purchased the northern half from 






CONCLUSION 311 

tbe Dutch before the war, they may just as well have the 
whole island Certain trade adjustments have been 
decided upon and a strong Imperial Party now forms the 
re-assembled House of Commons; Mr. Chamberlain's 
proposals have at last been accepted by an enlightened 
people and aheady trade is, I am told, booming. What 
else can I tell you,— you knew before you left that I 
would get the ' Thunderer ' though her dimensions had 
not then been made public. She is of 20,800 tons and 
carries 10— 13.5 in. guns, can steam 21 kts. and should be 
able to wipe out a large number of ' Dreadnoughts ' ; I 
commission her for trials on January ist, so have until 
then to recover. The mater, who looks splendid now 
that all anxiety for me is past, is writing you herself. 
Father has been made a baronet for giving that 
Hospital-ship to the nation, — ^he well deserves it I think ; 
you might cable him congratulations if the lines are in 
working order when you receive this letter.. I am 
sending this to Mombasa, — you are almost certain to 
come down there to await shipment home now that the 
Germans have ceded what you went out to take by force 
of arms. We shall all be glad to have you back with us, 

especially your affectionate brother 
AUan." 

Lieutenant Edgar Nelson, 13th Hussars, 

East African Expeditionary Force, 
C/o. Transport Officer, 

Mombasa, B. E. Africa 

What else remains to be told ? The war terminated, 
England and Japan, allied even more than formerly, held 
undisputed possession of the seas and constituted them- 
selves arbiters of peace or war in the future. Japan 
obtained certain concessions from Germany and the 



312 THE WAR INEVITABLE 

expenses of the Mrar incurred by her. The menace of 
the German fleet had been removed for all time, and the 
prospect of many peaceful years dawned bright upon an 
era of universal prosperity. Russia, unfortunate partner 
in an unfortunate war, broke out once again in uncontroll- 
able revolution and in the turmoil of rapine and murder 
the whole of the plutocrats fell victims. France^ by an 
amicable arrangement, regained her "lost provinces" 
thus removing the constant cause of friction between the 
two powerful neighbours. But in England the most 
astonishing change was to be seea The newly organised 
General Staff developed a type of universal military 
service to which none could take exception and for the 
first time in the history of our Army, the land forces of 
the Empire could boast as efficient an Administration as 
had governed the Navy for some time past In other 
directions, also, great progress was to be noticed; 
Socialism, reconstituted, sifted and recast, found its level 
and fell into line with the Party of Imperialism that had 
finally swamped the base section of Little Englanders 
under whose governance the nation had suffered so 
much. Tariff Reform no longer a dream, had placed 
us upon a level with competitive nations in trade, and 
unemployment was daily becoming a thing of the past 
The war, forced on us by a jealous power, wrought noth- 
ing but good at its termination, for whilst Consols again 
sped up past the long lost lOO, the income tax dropped 
to a bearable maximum of sixpence. 

A word as to rewards. Lord Kitchener became the 
Duke of Hampshire and "Bobs," the darling of the 
nation, His Grace of Berkshire, — ^in each instance half a 
million being voted to support the dignity of the new 
titles. Nor was the Navy forgotten as so often happens 
in the distribution of honours, — Sir John Anglejr, protest 



- 1» 



A 



CONCLUSION. 313 

as he might, was gazetted an Earl and seven junior 
Admirals fomid a place in the Upper House. By a 
curious coincidence the following notices appeared in the 
same number of the " Times " some montlis after the 
close of the war : — 

"The marriage arranged between Commander Fitz 
Herbert, R.N., V.C, of H.M.S. 'Culver' (one of the 
German prizes) and Ethel Violet, youngest daughter of 
Lord Hatmantown, will take place at St Margarets, 
Westminster, on February i8th. His Majesty- has 
notified his intention of being amongst the guests and 
the wedding will be one of the most fashionable of the 
year." 

BIRTH OF GERMAN PRINCE. 

"Her Royal Highness, Princess Oscar, better known 
to the British public as Princess Alexandra, gave birth 
yesterday to a son. Especial interest attaches to the 
event since the Kaiser has expressed a wish that one of 
the names should be Allan, after Captain Sir Allan 
Nelson, RN.; V.C; K.C.B.; of H.M.S. 'Thunderer, 
who stands with His Majesty as sponsor for the infant 
Prince. The latest bulletin says that both mother and 
child are doing well" 

THE END. 



VNIVt OF MIOKIOA 

4AN28lftili 



»• WSJOH BAVrXX AlTD 00^ UED. 



▲BSBTEUiBBT, MOV. 



A LIST OP BOOKS 



Published by 



Francis Griffiths, 

34 Maiden Lane, Strand, London, W.C. 

00 

THE ENGLISH PEOPLE OVERSEAS. A History. By 
A. Wyatt Tilby. To be completed in three volumes. Vol. 1 
jnBt ready. Demy 8vo., cloth. Price 15/- net. In the preface 
the author says that " it has been his first principle that na 
settlemeDi ol the English-speaking people overseas should be left 
unnoticed; and his second that the actors should, as far as 
possible, speak Uxt themselves from the records they have left 
behind." He has made a careful study of existing and original 
authorities; and it is believed that the work will be found Doth 
accurate and impartial. 

MODERN ARGENTINA. The £1 Dorado of Today. With 
notes on Uruguay and Chile. By W. H. Koebel. With 123 
illustrations. Demy 8vo., cloth, gilt top. Price, 12/6 net. 

[This is an entirely new work by IVfi W. H. Koebel, who has just 
returned from a prolonged visit to the Argentina. The book deals 
exhaustively with this great republic of South America, which at the 
present moment is occupying so large a share of European attention. 
The book is concerned not only with the situation — political and 
commercial— of this astonishing country, but with the intimate life 
of its inhabitants as well. The field afforded b^ the manners and 
customs of the modem Argentine has been but little exploited. The 
fitudy, therefore, of the blending of old and new, of the ethics of the 
Gaucho knife and of the temperament of these picturesaue riders of 
the plains with the up-to-date spirit of enterprise that nas come to 
flooa the land is a fascinating one.] 

" The book is thoroughly up-to-date, ia very readable, and contains 
much interesting information. ... It is the pleasantly written 
work of a man with observant eye and ready ear who has made the 
most of hifl time spent in the countn^ and has succeeded in giving 
a vivid and intelligent account of what he has seen and heard." — 

TiMXS. 

" What our author has to say about the country is verv satisfactory. 
. . . . There is much that is interesting to read about rural 
matters and about other states in South America, as Uruguay and 
Oiile. **— SncTATOK. 

" Mr. Koebel has produced a very interesting and readable book, 
which will do much to give Englishmen a better understanding of the 
BMmblic. "—Globs. 

** A cordial welcome should be extended to this new book bT Mf. 
W. H. Koebel. The information contained in this volume is only one 
of its good features ; another is the easy and engaging style in which 
that information is oonveyed." — ^Tubuxb. 



CAST AFRICA AND UGANDA ; or. Our LMt Land. Bj 3. 
Gathcart Wason, M.P., with a preface by Six hIixt 
Johnston, G.C.M.O., K.C.B. With 33 Illiulnktioiis from 
photoffraphs by Mr. Borup, of the Church Mifisionary Society, 
Ugaaaa; Mr. Cunnington, of Uganda; and Mr. and Mra. 
Cathcart Wason. Crown 8vo. Cloth, Gilt Top. Price 3/6 net 
" Mr. Cathcart Waaon has publiahed a most entertaining Tolnme 

on Bast Africa and Uganda. Sir Harry Johnstcm has written » most 

noteworthy preface to the book, which is illostrated by a number of 

ejrceUent photographs." — ^Psoplx's Jouxnal. 

"A readable book. Gives many insights into the habits and 

characteristics of an interesting people. "--Shktland Nkws. 

A HISTORY OP RHODESIA. Compiled from Official Sources. 
Bv Howard Hensman. With a map. Grown 8to. Price 6/-. 
" We would not forej^o any portion of Mr. Hensman's work. • . 
It is yery fair, sarprisingly so, if we take the nearness of the events 
which he relates, and the style and the treatment are intended to 
be without bias. This is an extremely difficult performance, yet Mr« 
Hensman seems to have achieved it." 

THE WESSEX OP ROMANCE. By Wilkinson Shxxxxn. 
Large 8vo. 6/- net. New and revised edition of a work of value 
and interest to all lovers of country life and literature. Con- 
taining several new illustrations. 

"Another stimulant to imagination." — QxoxGX Mexkditb. 

'*I think it a very good boox."— J. M. Baxrik. 

"It is a most valuable addition to the history of nineteenth 
century literature." — Mrs. Louisk Chandlkr Moulton. 

" A picture of the life of the people of the South and South- West 
England^ which is quite worthv to stand by itself and to be read for 
its own intrinsic interest." — ^Thk Outlook. 

" Apart from Mr. Hardy there is not a work of fiction that can 
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Wilkinson Sherren manages to convey into his pages of fact."— St. 
Jaicks's Gazkttk. 

"All Uiat anvone can care or need to know about the originala 
of the scenes ana personages of Mr. Hardy's novels he will find here." 
— ^Truth. 

" The largest portion of the book is taken up with fine descriptive 
accounts of Wessex towns and villages." — New York Times. 

THE DICKENS CONCORDANCE. Being a ComiMmdium of 
Names and Characters and princii>al places mentioned in all the 
Works of Charles Dickens. Containing first a List of the Works, 
secondly a Summary of Chapters in each book or pamphlet, and 
thirdly a complete Alphabetical Index of names with tne tiue of 
book and number of chapter quoted. By Mart Williams. 
Price 3/6 net. 

ESSAYS ON ART. By John Hoppner, B.A. Edited by 
Frank Butter. Foolscap 8vo., Clotii. Price 2/6 net These 
Essavs have never been reprinted since their first impearanoe, • 
hundured years ago, in reviews of the early 19tn century. 
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these essays, wtiich have been re-discovered and edited with an 
introduction by Mr Frank Batter, the art critic of the Bundat 

TlM£S. 



"■""? J"HI^^"^?^ .9^,9^9"®^ ELIOT. In relation to 
Adam Bede, giving the life history of the more prominent 
characters. With 83 illustrations. By William Mottsaic, 
erand nephew of Seth Bede, and cousin to the Author. Lanre 
8vo. Gilt Top. 7/6 net. * 

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They are admirable in every way. The book should command a 
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wntangs. "—-Sphere. 

'^Seldom has an important literary task been carried out more 
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is a fascinating story, and to every lover of * Adam Bede ' it will be 

" Every reader of * Adam Bede ' will find much to interest them 
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** To those who know their George Eliot well this book will be an 
interesting addition to the bibliography of the writer." — ^Western 
Daily Pxess. 

"The autobiography of Dinah Morris are intensely interesting 
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Mr. Mottram's book." — ^The Crusades. 

IRISH AND ENGLISH PORTRAITS & IMPRESSIONS. 

By Robert Lynd. Crown 6vo., Cloth, price 5s. net. 

HYDROMEL AND RUE. Rendered into English from the 
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ALBERT MOORE, HIS LIFE AND WORKS. By Alfred 
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SONGS OP OLD PRANCE. By Percy Allen. Crown 8vo, 
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rdieve the solemn pomposities of the Institute of France." — 
— ^Scotsman. 

" The volume will appeal to those who have a taste for romance 
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^ LIFE'S LOVE SONGS AND OTHER POEMS. By N. 
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SONGS OP THE CAR; WITH «' DE OMNIBUS*' 
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** Mr. Cox is a skilful writer of homoroos Yerse. . . . Not the 
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" Hid verses not infrequently contain the soul of wit. Whether 
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techniaue is versatile and finished, his humour agile, pointed, and 
never bitter. These scattered versee were well worth collecting. "^ — 
MoKNiNG Leader. 

" Skilful, cheerful, philosophic, his verses ought to appeal to ail 
lovers of light rhymes." — ^Black and Whits. 

JEZEBEL: A DRAMA. By P. Moedaukt Basmasd, M.A. 
CroYvn 8vo. Cloth. Price 2/- net. 

LIFE OP THE RIGHT HON. WILLIAM HENRY 
SMITH, M.P. Bv 8iE Hxrbekt Maxwell, Bart., M.P. 
Illustrated. Price 3/6. 

MEMOIR OP EDWARD CRAVEN HAWTREY, D.D.. 
Head-nfia^ter and afterwardtt Provost or 
Eton- By Francis St. John Thackeray, ALA., F.8.A.. 
Illustrated. Price 7/6. 

SIR JOHN MOWBRAY'S REMINISCENCES. Seventy 
years at Westminster. With other Letters and Notes of the late 
Hight Hon. Sir John Mowbray, Bart., M.P. Edited by hia 
daughter. With portraits and other illustrations. Large Grown 
8vo. 7/6. 
"Emphatically, Miss Mowbray has done the reading public 

excellent service in placing this volume before them 

Infinitely more agreeaole and instructive reading than many more 
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chapter will repay perusal. — Pall Mall Gazette. 

We commend to our readers this modest and true record of ja 
member of the old school. As the book is of moderate size, and is 
good reading from beginning to end, it compares favourably with 
tiie prolix and pretentious biographies that are too much the 
fashion. * * — ^Literature. 

THE TRUMPETER. A Romance of the Rhine. Bv Joseph 
Victor Von Scheffel. Translated from Two Hundredth 
German Edition by Jessie Beck and Louise Lorimer. With an 
Introduction by &r Theodore Martin, G.C.B. Long Svo, 3s. 
6d. 
*' No German poet is more original. . . . But most original and 
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'* No modem poetical work in any other coun^ay of the world has 
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will readily understand the reason. ... It is spontaneous and 
fresh, and gives one the feeling that it must bave been created in the 
open air. "--Glasgow Herald. 



THE NEW ORDER. Studies m Unionist Pouct. Edited by 
Lord Malmssbusy. DEMY 8va CLOTH. PRICE 12i. 6d. 
NET. 

CONTENTS .—UNIONIST PHILOSOPHY. By Lord Malmesbnry, 
THE CONSTITUTION. 1907. By Lord Morpeth, M.P 
IRELAND. By the Hon. Hugh O'NeiU. THE HOUSE OF 
LORDS. By Lord Winterton, M.P. THE PROBLEM OF 
EMPIRE. By the Hon. Bemhard Wise. HOME INDUSTRIEa 
By E. G. Spencer Chnrchill, FOREIGN POLICY. By T. 
Comyn-Platt. SHIPS. By Alan H. Bnrgoyne. THE ARMY. 
By Wilfred Ashley, M.P. THE CITIZEN ARMY. By Henry 
Page Cioft. RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. By Michael H. 
Temple. LAND. By G. L. Courthope, M.P. SOCIALISM. 
By Donald McNeill. LABOUR. By A. D. Steel-MaiUand. 
THE FINANCIAL RESULTS OF FREE TRADE By Sir X 
RoUeston. 

JOHN BULL'S ARMY PROM WITHIN. Facto, Fiffuxes. 

and a Human Document from One Who has been ** Through the 

Mill." By Robert Edmondson, Ez-Sergeant 2l8t Hussars (now 

21st Lancers)^ and Ex-Squadr<»-Sergeant-Major 36th Impievial 

Yeomanry, with an introduction by Arnold White. Crown 

8vo. Price 68. net. 

" We affree entirely with Mr. Am(dd White, who contiibuteB ito 

l^ace, that the remarkable book by Ez-Squadron-Sergeant-Major 

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anything that has yet i^peared." — ^Weekly Times and Echo. 

*' The author is a man of intelligence, and his criticisms of militair 
administration, and more particularly discipline, are well worto 
attention. ' ' — ^Truth. 

THE CONSTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUC- 
TION OF THE HUMAN BODY. A Manual 
of the Therapeutics of Exercise. By Eugbn Sandow, with A 
Foreword by Sir Arthur Ck)NAN Doylb. Demy Quarto, doth. 
Profusely Illustrated. Price 12s. 6d. net. With a Manikin. 
Thb Contents include: — ^Exercise — With Apparatus, Without 
Apparatus, The Habit of Exercise, Relaxation. Physical Degener- 
ation, Baidical and Individual. Structural Effects of Exercise. 
Functional Effect of Exercise — ^I. Organic Function, 11. Cellular 
Function. Moral Effect of Exercise. Exercise for Men. Exercise 
lor Women Exercise for Children. Exercise and the DisestiTe 
Process — ^I. The Digestion of Food, II. The Abscmtion and Asaimi* 
lation of Food, III. General Sununary, IV. The Effect of Exercise 
npoD the Processes of Digestion, Absorption and AesimilatioD. 
Ssercise and the Respuration. Exercise ana the Museles. Exendie 
and the Nervous System. Exercise and the Bones and Cartilage. 
Exercise and Reproduction. Exercise and Metabolism. Exercise and 
the Ailments it is Known to Cure. Exercise and the Diseases it may 
be Expected to Cure. The Cells and Tissues of the Body. 

STUDIES IN PHILOSOPHY. By the Rev. J. LiOHTrooT. 

M.A., D.Sc, Crown 8vo, 2s. 6d. net. 
Oontsnts:— An Introduction to the Study of PhilosoiAy, with 
•pedal reference to the Problem of Kant. The Schools of Philosophy : 
Materialism, Agnosticism, Idealism, Christianity. Si|bjective Ideal- 
ism : Berkeley, Kant, Ficnte, Conscience. The Freedom of the Will. 
The Physical Basis of Life. 



NOTSS ON NAMES IN THE HOLY 

LAND. By Fiakcm Hariott Wood. Crown 8vo., doi^ 
Prioe 2t. 6d. oat 

** Hill if A much more intareBtiiig book than its somewhat nnattno- 
Ura tails might seem to imply. Its plan is to group romid the name 
d each plaoe in the Holy Xand a list of events which Scripture re- 
ooonts as having happened at the place dealt with." — Crusades. 

"This book is reliable in its information, it ii graphic in its 
dsBorqptJons, it abounds in interesting incidents from ulq f asdnaUns 
alory of ezploratioo and research in the Holy Land. It ii full A 
Scriptiire rnerences, and is arranged on sach a nataral plan that the 
Intemation is easOy aooessihle at the shortest notice." — Mstbodist 

OLD ENGLISH PLAYS. 

Edited, with Intzodnotions and Notes, by F. J. Cox. 
F*Cap 8vo. Paper Cover, 6d. net. Cloth, Is. net. 

1. THE TRAGICAL HISTORY OF DR. FAU8TUS. By 

GBixsTOPHxa Maxlows. 

2. A WOMAN KILLED WITH KINDNESS. By Thoicas 

HXTWOOD. 

8. EVERY MAN IN HIS HUMOUR. By Bkn Jonson. 
4. THE MAID'S TRAGEDY. By Fsancis Beaumont and 

JOHM FlXTCHXS. 

The series is specially designed for the book lover and stndeni 
•nxions to aoqnire a knowledge of the dramatic literature {A \h9 
Elizabethan and Jacobean eras. The great playwrights who made 
that wonderful literature are little nuM« than names to the average 
reader— a circumstance which renders expert guidance an absolute 
essential. Thdr works are so rich, so extensive, so varied, that the 
^rio who approaches the study of them is apt to be confused by their 
number and orilliance. 

The old texts have been adhered to, and the pl^ys, without excep- 
tion, are put forth in an unexpurgated form. Where necessary to 
4slear up obscure allusions, notes have been supplied, while the 
Editor's aim in the introduction, which prefaces each volume, has 
been to give a succinct account of the play and its author, relating 
the former to the literature of the time, and showing how the latter 
atands in oomparison with his contemporaries. 



London : FRANCHS GBIFFITHS, 34, Maiden Lane, Strand, W.C. 



Modern Argentina 

The £1 Dorado of To-day 

WITH NOTES ON UKUQUAY AND 

CHILE 



BT 

W. H. KOEBEL 



With One Hundred and Twenty-three Illustrations 



Demy 8vo. Cloth. Gilt top. 1 2/6 net. 



(This is an entirely new work by Mr. W. H. Koebel, who has just 
returned from a prolonged visit to the Argentine. The book deals 
exhaustively with this great republic of Southern America, which at 
the present moment is occupying so large a share of European atten- 
tion. The book is concerned not only with the situation — ^pohtical 
and commercial — of this astonishing country, but with the intimate 
life of its inhabitants as welL The field afforded by the manners and 
customs of the modem Argentine has been but little exploited. The 
study, therefore, of the blending of old and new, of the ethics of the 
Qaucho loiife and of the temperament of these picturesque riders of 
the plains with the up-to-date spirit of enterprise that has come to 
flood the land is a fascinating one.) 



London : FRANCIS GRIFFITHS, 34, Maiden Lane, Strand. W.C. 



MODERN ARGENTINA— Press Opinions 

** Such m book as BCr. Koebors beoomeo a neoeaaity from the point 
of viow of a work of referenoe.*' — Tail&r. 

** ICr. Koebora book ia a handaome tribute to the progreaa already 
aooompliahed by the great South American Republic. — Oraphic, 

** T^ writer has maetered the happy art of serving up information 
in such a way as to make it appear all jam and no powder, and his 
book in oonsequenoe will appeal to a far wider public than is directly 
interested in Arsentina." — Birminghofn OazsUe. 

** It is certainly worth the while of intending tourists or intending 
settlers to read what he has to say.** — Yorkshire Potf. 

** We dose the book with feelmgs of sincere pleasure and interest, 
and wish the writer every success in his endeavour to enlighten his 
stay-at-home brethren on ... . this great far-spreading South 
American Republic.** — WuUm Morning Neufs, 

" Will be found most interesting." — Indtutria, 

** 'Mr, Koebel*s book will no doubt be the means of stimulating 
interest in Argentine industries.'* — BtUUHn Imperial InetittUe. 

** It is to prospective emigrants that this book should be specially 
valuable.*' — Oeographical Journal, 

** It is fuU of information and entertainment.** — John BulL 

** Altogether the book is one which can be confidently recommended 
to our readers.'* — South American Journal, 

** A perfect mine of information on this and the neighbouring 
countriea." — PUmarCe Journal, 

" Presents a vivid and comprehensive picture of all the phases of 
life in the Argentine Republic of to-day.** — La Nacion {Buenoa Aires), 

** The best book that has been published for many years on this 
great Southern Republic.*' — La Prenea {Buenoe Aires), 

" In a thoroughly readable book Mr. Koebel presents a highly 
favourable impression of Argentina.'* — The Age {Melboume), 

" He has told a capital story of pastoral and agricultural interests 
in the Argentine.*' — Live Stock Journal. 

** It is such books as Mr. Koebel's that cause a desire to see the 
country for oneself." — McUa da Europa {Lisbon), 

** Mr. Koebel's book is just what is required. It is not filled with 
dry statistics, but describoB the coimtry as he sees it, and he is a bom 
observer." — Nalal Mercury, 

" The story is admirably told .... as he goes through page after 
page of an entrancing tale." — Banffshire Journal, 

** Vivid sketcties by an observing traveller .... altogether a 
complete and accurate picture." — Studes Coloniales {BrusseU), 

" The writer .... gives as complete an impression of the coun- 
try as is possible." — De Indische Mercur {Amsterdam), 

" The book is thoroughly up-to-date, is very readable, and contains 
much interesting information. ... It is the pleasantly written 
work of a man with observant eye and ready ear who has made the 
most of his time spent in the country and has succeeded in giving a 
vivid and intelligent account of what he has seen and heard." — Times, 

" What our author has to say about the country is very satisfac- 
tory. . . There is much that is interesting to read about rural matters 
and about other states in South America, as Uruguay and Chile." — 
Spectator, 



,1 






MODERN ARGENTINA— Press Opinions (Continued). 

" JMr. Koebel has produced a very interesting emd readable book, 
which will do much to give Englishmen a better understanding of the 
Republic. " — Qlohe. 

" A cordial welcome should be extended to this new book by Mr. 
W. H. Koebel. The information contained in this volume is only one 
of its good features ; another is the ease and engaging style in which 
that information is conveyed." — Tribune, 

** It gives a vivid, clear, brightly written and interesting summary 
of the impressions of an inteUigent traveller who had eyes to see and a 
pen to describe the ever -changing scenes that passed before him." — 
Morning Post, 

** Mr. Koebel is an enthusiast, but, it is only fair to add, he is an 
enthusiast well equipped with knowledge." — Standard. 

** The whole volume, which is illustrated with numerous photo- 
graphs, gives an admirable picture of the country, which ought to be 
read with general interest and attention." — Daily News. 

We can highly praise Mr. Koebel's book." — Athenuasm. 

The greatest usefulness of his well written book will lie in giving 
the general reader a knowledge of all-round conditions in * the coming 
country.' " — Daily Chronicle. 

** Mr. Koebel must be congratulated on bringing to his subject a 
very considerable amount of Utereu'y skill." — Manchester Guardian. 

" Delusions die heu'd, and the populeu* imagination refuses to be cor- 
i^ted by the sober statements of a weU-inf ormed author. This resist- 
ance to enlightenment ... is bound, however, to break down 
and disappear by dint of time, and the book that has just been written 
by Mr. W. H. Koebel on Argentina should hasten the process." — 
The Academy. 

" For an account of the manner in which the Argentines, stimu- 
lated by European enterprise and capital . . are now availing 
themselves of their opportunities to profit from the natural riches of 
their country, we must refer the reader to Mr. W. H. Koebers instruc- 
tive pages." — TJie Outlook. 

" Since Hinchcliff's * South American Sketches ' there has not been 
so bright and interesting a book on the Argentine Republic and 
Uruguay." — Mr. R. B, Cunmnghame Orahame in the NeUion. 

** The author treats of the inhabitants, ph3n9ic6d features, industries, 
resources, natural history, etc., of the Republic in a manner which 
will appead both to the capitalist and the general reader." — Weet- 
mineter Gazette. 

** Mr. Koebel's book would have the peculiar interest attaching to 
descriptions of unknown lands, even were it less well done than it is. 
But it is a lively and vivid description . . . full of first hand 
observation, and illustrated at every step by good snapshot photo- 
graphs, the book cannot but prove both interesting and instructive to 
readers curious concerning the life of the South American Republics." 
— Scotsman. 

" Mr. Koebel has done his work so conscientiously, he has left no 
aspect of the country untouched. . . . He has brought to the 
discharge of his task not only first-hand knowledge, but an agreeable 
literary style, the humour, crispnees, and lucidity of which make 
every chapter a delight to read. — BeynoUfs Newspaper* 



MODBRN AR0BNTINA— PffM« Opiaioos 

**A oo m pfe h an riw y stnigfatf orwwd aoooimt of a Bapablio oonoem- 
jpgTthe pf went-day amots of whioh the average Wngnahinan hm bat 
the haneet knowledge/'— AiOy Graphic 

** All the aepeote of the Mttlflr't lif e, the natural eoenery and natural 
history ci hie einroundinfli are vividly treated in not too acientlfio a 
mannir, with the reeolt tha* there ie not a dull pago.**— BwviMfi^Aam 

PO0«. 

** lliflre ezieti probably no other dvilised country of the magnitude 
of Argentina of which leae is known in Europe.' With this statemoit 
W. H. Koebel begins his fascinating volume . . . and the reader, 
alter perusing the great amount of information whioh Mr. Koebel has 
brou^t togeiher, will come to the same conclusion." — J)und»€ Adver* 



** Mr. Koebel has given us a most readaUe and interesting volume." 
— Aberdeen Fne Priu, 

" This picturesque record of the territories and resources of the 
El Dorado of to-day ' . . . has a wide and varied range, and will 
go far to dissipate the European ignorance of whioh Mr. Koebel justly 
complains." — Okugwo Herald, 

*' Mr. Koebel possesses the literary faculty in no mean degree, and, 
beyond the elaborate treatment of its subject matter, his work is in 
itself, pleasant reading." — Mitwhg Journal, 



EAST AFRICA AND UGANDA 

Or, OUR LA5T LAND. 

BY J. GATHCART WA80X, M.P., 

WTTR A FBJnAOB BT 

SIR HARRY JOHNSTOX, G.C.M.G., K.C.B. 
With SS Illustrations from photographs by Mb. Bobttp, of the Church 
Missionary Society, Uganda ; Mb. CumnNoroif , of Uganda ; and Mb. 

and Mbs. Cathoabt Wabon. 

Crown Svo. OMh, CHU Top, Price 3s. 6d. net. By PoH 3s. lOd. 

A HISTORY OF RHODESIA 

COMPILED FROM OFFICIAL SOURCES. 
By HOWARD HEKSMAN. 
With a Map. Crown 9vo, Price Os. By Poet, 6s. 4d. 



London : FRAKCIS GRIFFITHS, U, Maiden Lane, Strand, W.C 



THE RfiTURN OF JOE 

And other New Zealand Storiea 

By W. H. KOEBEL 

Crown 8vo. Cloth. Price 6/- 

PRESS OPINIONS 



(( 



There is a touch of individuality about these stories of life in New 
Zealand that it is very acceptable. One misses, and gratefully, too, 
the straining after sensation and the trumped up adventures of the 
typical melodramatic story, and welcomes in their stead the record 
of things done and suffered by pioneers in a strange land. The yarns 
are of varied descriptions, but each is full of interest." — PaU MaU 
OazeUe, 

'* We can confidently point out the * Return of Joe ' as deserving 
perused. The author writes well, sees widely, and has a vivid pen. 
The title-story is perhaps the best in its strength, simplicty, and pathos 

Altogether this is an attractive volume which should 

find many friends.**— Olo&e. 

** Mr. Koebel .... writes easily and without pretence. 
The result is that the book is agreeable reading, all the more because 
it deals with new and strange elements.** — AtTienceum, 

** Freeh and vigorous stories of New Zealand life with excellent 
local colour.*' — Beview of Reviews. 

** To the merit claimed for them by their author, that their local 
colour was not obtained at second hand, we can add more merits — 
notably a strong impression of reality, and a simple, straightforward 
style of concise narration which, by Avoiding any apparent striving 
after effect, is all the more effective. His pathos and humour have, 
for English readers, the freshness of the scenes, situations and 
characters to which they belong.** — Orctphic, 

** Mr. Koebel is an authority upon New Zealand .... thus 
far, therefore, the stories have some claim upon the consideration 
of the public ; but they have more — they prove the author's powers 
of strong originality and able characterisation." — TaUer, 

** Mr. W. H. Koebel has been "v^ll advised in bringing together 
a collection of yams treating of life in that far away comer of the 

British Empire The chief charm of his book to the 

discerning reader wiU be in the skilful verisimilitude with which he 
paints in his background. Some of the items in the collection are 
merely sketches, but we do not feel for a moment the lack of the 

story, so vivid is the local colour * Joe * is a character 

which might have appealed to Bret Harte.*' — Reynolde Newapckper, 

" Mr. Koebel clearly knows his colony. His stories have atmos- 
phre, and read like actual transcripts from life. He has that sense 
of the essential without which no good story can be written, and a 



THB RETURN OF JOE-PrcM Opinion' (ConHnued), 

quick vy for tbe inooDgmoas and grotesque ; he can depioi the 
tragedy and the tear* of thingi aimpqr and without straining after 
ellMt. — Ma/hcHuttT Quardian. 

'* The first tale is the best ; it reaches a high level of finished 
pathos. But it is in good company. All the stories in this New 
Aesland bat<di have a ixim colour, and many possess deeper qualities 
as well.** — Morning L^adtr, 

** In his new book Hr. Koebel more than fulfils the promise given 
in his engaging miscellany, ' The Seat of Moods.* .... The 
title piece of the volume is a well-lmit and touching little tale. . . 
Several oUier sketches are remarkable at once for vivid realism 
and the plangent note of their intrinsic pathos. .... The 
humorous stories serviceably illustrate their themes, and they invari- 
ably disclose keen perception of character and literary accomplish- 
ment. ''-^Olas^ow Herald. 

** The tales . . . are both powerful in themselves and racy of 
the soil that gave them birth. They make a book which New 
Zealanders must heartily enjoy, and which will be read with a keen 
interest by many in the old country.'* — ^^cotefiiofi. 

** Mr. Koebel excels in a certain vividness of descriptive power and 
a gift of rendering the wry, grim pathos of hard and rugged lives.** 
— Reader. 

** Some of the tales are dramatic, others to be valued for their local 
eolouring. Above all else, he has a keen sense of the comradeship 
thiWt subsists amongst men whose lot is set in lonely places.** — 
Academy, 

** Anyone who comes across the book will assuredly find it worth 
while to read it from cover to cover.** — Madame, 



ESSAYS ON ART 

By JOHN HOPPNER R.A. 

EDITED BY 

FRANK RUTTER 

Foolscap 8vo. j/6 net. 

These Essays of John Hoppner, R.A., whose writings on the art 
he practised with suoh distinction, have never been re-printed since 
their first appearance, a hundred years ago, in reviews of the early 
Idth century. Hoppner*8 views on portrait painting and the art 
of his contemporaries are expressed with eloquence and sound 
judgment in these essays, which have been re-discovered and edited 
with an introduction by Mr. Frank Rutter, the art critic of the 
Sunday TimM, 

London : FRANCIS GRIFFITHS, 34, Maiden Lane, Strand, W.C. 



THE ANCHORAGE 

The Story of a New Zealand Sheep Farm 

By W. H. KOEBEL 

Crown 8vo. Cloth. Price 6/- 



PRESS OPINIONS 



** Mr. W. H. Koebel has oome forward at a bound in his new nvoel 
. . . . Th€ ^nchonag€ is an excellent story, and Mr. KoebeFs 
descriptions of the life and atmosphere of a New Zealand sheep 
ranch deserve high praise.*' — Black and White. 

" He finds within a narrow range materials for a stirring drama 
of love and good-fellowship and vindictive rancour." — Satttrday 
Review, 

" Pen-pictures of scenes in and around a New Zealand sheep farm 
that are faithfully and beautifully done by a man who both sees and 
feels, and can convey to anotheor his own vivid, warm, and loving 
sense of nature." — Dundee Advertiser, 

" Mr. Koebers latest story is a remarkably able piece of work. 
. . . . With such an admirable set of characters, a romantic 
country, with which he is obviously familiar, and the gift of story 
telling, success was practically assured, and is in any case real." — 
Sootaman. 

" Described with sympathetic power. The story loses nothing 
because it is quietly told, without vehemence or straining after 
eflEect." — Birmingham^ Daily Poet, 

" He shows acute insight into and knowledge of human nature. 
The Anchorage is decidedly a book to read." — The Academy, 

** In Mr. Koebel's record there is plenty of action .... and 
his elaboration freshly illustrates his familiarity with his favourite 
ground and the thoroughfares, and finality of his method." — 
Olasgow Herald. 

" A pleasant, wholesome narrative, with the picture of New 
Zealand life and Mildred Barry's love story woven into it." — Times, 

** That the story is capitally told has already been indicated, 
and all that is necessary to add is that interest is maintained from 
beginning to end» and the reader will have no temptation to skip bits 
here and there." — Aberdeen Free Press. 

" The descriptions of scenery are vivid, and the characters are well 
drawn, as is also the effect of the rough, breezy, outdoor life, spent 
mostly in the saddle." — Manchester Courier. 

" A book of unusuad merit. In a sense an adventure story ; it is 
one that interests even more by virtue of its people than of its inci- 
dents The scenes describing Colonial life are fresh and 

invigorating." — The Globe, 



London : FRANCIS GRIFFITHS, 34, Maiden Lane, Strand, W.C.